|dc.description.abstract||Lya Luft and Sonia Coutinho are contemporary Brazilian writers who bring to their writing the marks of the conflicts experienced by women in a changing world where the “old” values of a patriarchal society and the “new” assumptions of modern society coexist. Within this context, the question of motherhood is highlighted as a constitutive part of women’s subjectivity.
This conflict between being and not being a mother is very present in Luft and Coutinho’s works. The model of motherhood that their female characters learned in patriarchal education seems incompatible with their accomplishment as individuals and, as a result, whether they are mothers or not, there is always a sense of lack that makes these women feel themselves as “incomplete.” This dissertation contends that this is due to the fact that the ideal of “women’s wholeness” that contemporary women learned throughout their lives is unattainable. We chose to see how this occurs in four novels which we believe are representative of the fictional universe of each of the authors: As parceiras, A sentinela, Atire em Sofia and Os seios de Pandora: uma aventura de Dora Diamante.
Usually papers about these four novels focus on psychoanalysis and the archetypal figures. This dissertation, however, considers the critical potential of Luft and Coutinho’s writings and takes the characters in their stories within the relations they establish to the social context in which they were created. Thus, when analyzing each novel, it brings the contributions of different fields of study, such as Sociology, Philosophy, Anthropology, Psychology and of course Literature. The goal is to perceive how each protagonist faces the paradox we call women’s (in)completeness, or in other words, how they navigate between being and not being a mother, in the direction of adapting to the personal and/or social expectations or in trying to subvert them.||