A second violation : rape myths in contemporary, popular British and American writing; and, The Alden case
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This thesis and related work of fiction explores the representation of rape in contemporary British and American writing, with a particular focus on the use of rape myths in narratives about sexual violence. It evaluates how this crime is portrayed in popular literature through the analysis of three works of fiction by two bestselling authors: Joyce Carol Oates and Jodi Picoult. It also examines newspaper reporting through the analysis of three news events – one in the U.K. and two in the U.S. – that received a significant amount of coverage from an assortment of newspapers. Literature and newspaper reporting contribute to public views of rape as well as cultural attitudes towards women. People may reference rape narratives as they form opinions about sexual violence, therefore making it crucial that these acts are portrayed accurately. This thesis will examine the vehicles that frame the discussion of sexual assault. It will focus on the way each author depicts the victim(s) and perpetrator(s) and assess how the type of rape – whether date, gang, or stranger rape – affects its representation. It will also reveal if contemporary British and American writing has tried to disprove misperceptions and accurately depict sexual violence or if it continues to propagate myths.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Embargo Date: 2024-05-27
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations. Print and electronic copy restricted until 27th May 2024
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