By Annie O. Eysturoy
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Additional info for Daughters of Self-Creation: The Contemporary Chicana Novel
Women's sexual freedom in itself is strongly condemned as well and only applauded in so far as the protagonist can benefit from this freedom: "All the young Edwardian heroes enjoy having their women freed . . from sexual prohibitions, but only if those women conform to predetermined social roles" (321). Braendlin sees this development as one in which the principle of the "Eternal Feminine'' becomes explicitly sexual and turns woman into the sexual ''other" of the Bildungsheld, a process "that contributes to a conversion of Victorian paternalism into modern sexism" (321).
Consequently, as "the expected sequence of life phases is disrupted at every step by the tension inherent in women's experience" (Pratt, 169), female Bildung can only take place under circumstances radically different from those of the male hero. The overt or subtle presence of patriarchy throughout women's literature becomes particularly pronounced in the female Bildungsroman, as it is within its confining conditions that the heroine has to pursue her quest for selfhood; for the female heroine coming into consciousness can only be ''synonymous with her refusal to play the transcendent Other" (Lazzaro-Weis, 32), and in the process she must necessarily oppose the very norms which the male-defined tradition of the genre represents.
She learns that she has inner foes as formidable as outer ones. Because she has internalized society's devaluation of herself and her abilities, she must slay enemies within her own ranks: fear, self-doubt, guilt. (11) However, Huf finds that women of the last two decades have begun to overcome the guilt for creating; artist heroines have become more self-assertive in their stance against confining traditions and are increasingly "daring to be selfish" (157) in their strivings toward artistic fulfillment.