In her essay, “Femininity, Narrative and Psychoanalysis,” Juliet Mitchell asserts that there is in fact no ‘feminine voice,’ in writing, and that beings are truly bisexual, often interchangeable with the concerns of masculinity and femininity.
Mitchell’s essay is an examination of feminist issues, and her claims are well thought out and well proven. One of her starting points is to point out the fact that while many men have written early novels, as have many women, which have been extremely successful throughout history. She speaks of the pen names of which female authors have often written under, which is a very important topic. Her reference is to Emily Bronte, which she gives a fascinating little history of (I had no idea her sister had stolen her draft). Many other female authors have been known to do this in the past, but were not identified as women writers. This supports her claim that the natural ‘feminine voice’ is not always present. Mitchells references Freud in her writing, speaking of his work on the sexuality of men and women, and the necessary ‘bisexuality’ which she so often references. Her essay is interesting in that it draws from many different reference points, which is obviously what helped her shape her opinion on the issues of which she writes. Her focus on Wuthering Heights, which is mainly on Heathcliff and Catherine, only supports her idea of the coming together of man and woman, not necessarily sexually but rather emotionally, forming a sense of oneness, which is essentially what her claim is about.
I thoroughly enjoyed Mitchell’s essay, I understood and agreed with her claims. I really wished while reading it, (especially the last paragraphs), that I had read Wuthering Heights, though she proved her points without the reader having to have read the book, which was encouraging. I thought her claims were justifiable and likely, so I can’t say I disagree with much of what she said. Once again, I wish I had a little more prior knowledge of Freud, which could have possibly made the middle of the essay more comprehensible for me personally, but overall, I am quite inclined to agree with majority, if not all, of Mitchell’s claims.