Date of Submission

March 2005


This thesis is an investigation of the journeys towards a sense of identity or selfhood, achieved through honest and accurate appreciation of the lives of others, made by several female characters in the fiction of A.S. Byatt and the late Iris Murdoch. I believe that because Byatt and Murdoch value literature as a serious business that teaches as well as entertains, their writing can play a significant role in illuminating the lives of women by means of its portrayal of the resolution of women's struggles. Women's lives, despite the rise of feminism, are still not equitable. While many women strive to attain a balance of independence and intimacy - what Thelma Shinn calls a 'meronymic' relationship - and connection within community, many do not succeed in this endeavour. The numerous challenges they face are difficult and confronting, and the stories of their efforts resemble journeys through a labyrinth or maze.

Document Type


Access Rights

Open Access


258 pages


Faculty of Arts and Sciences