Women and Brains Go Together: Mapping Sophia Kovalevsky’s Animus in Alice Munro’s ‘Too Much Happiness’.
Women and brains have always been an epicentre of intrigue and controversy delineating that women must use brains in dimensions that have been predestined for them by misogynists. An intelligent woman is often marginalized as unfeminine and hoydenish capable of threatening the heteropatriarchy thereby rendering it impotent. Several pioneering works on gender identity and equality began to be written in the eighteen and nineteenth century drawing attention of the intelligentsia as well as the common folk equally, towards this burning issue. Feminist reforms were initiated as a result of the untiring endeavour of writers and critics throughout the world. The first wave of feminism was a signal for the society to revoke the existing patriarchal norms and it was strengthened further by the second and third wave of feminism with formidable writers, activists and revolutionists who fought a long drawn battle to equip women with their share of rights. Women’s continued and persistent struggle against patriarchy the world over has led to society’s much needed changed perspectives towards women and their intellect. Women have proved the concocted saying “women and brains do not go together” false with their sheer grit and persistent determination. Reverberating similar deliverance, this paper investigates Alice Munro’s biography of the renowned first ever female mathematics professor Sophia Kovalevsky in her short story ‘Too Much Happiness’ with the archetypal lens of Carl Jung. Sophia, the protagonist in the story is a woman with an extraordinary intellect, a mathematician and a novelist with a rare fascinating power to conquer the world. In times when most women are compulsorily confined to the kitchen, she dares it all to make it to the University of Stockholm in Sweden and challenge the myth that a woman has less of an intellect than man. She is aware of the animus in her which is the so called male domain of a women’s psyche and represents the logical thinking faculty in a woman. This paper aims at tracing the renowned Swiss psychologist Carl Jung’s archetype of the animus in Alice Munro’s portrayal of Sophia, to discern her psyche and to analyse and interpret how her animus affects her life and career as an intellectual in the old school patriarchal world.
Karkun, Suparna and Kumar Tiwari, Anoop
"Women and Brains Go Together: Mapping Sophia Kovalevsky’s Animus in Alice Munro’s ‘Too Much Happiness’.,"
Journal of International Women's Studies: Vol. 24:
1, Article 29.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol24/iss1/29