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n Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies - Die dialoog tussen die voorblad, die manneplot en die verhale in Dulle Griet van Riana Scheepers : research article
The dialogue between image and text in Riana Scheepers's Dulle Griet
This article examines the way in which the content and theme of Riana Scheepers's Dulle Griet (1991) interact with the "manneplot" (traditional and/or stereotypical portrayal of female characters within novels) and with the cover illustration of the book - a detail of "Mad Meg" (as she is often referred to) from Pieter Brueghel's Dulle Griet (1562).
It explores how the women in Scheepers's short stories are portrayed - not only as vulnerable, but also as evil and corrupt. They are abused victims; but they are also tyrannical abusers. They are innocent maidens and mothers, but also lovers, prostitutes, lesbians and murderers.
The way in which the gradual degeneration of the anonymous central female character relates to Brueghel's image of "Mad Meg" on her way to the jaws of hell is discussed in this article. But the article also demontrates Scheepers's concern with feminist issues by using the cover as an ironic "frame", and shows that the moral decline of the women portrayed in the text seems to be as a result of the actions of chauvinistic men, who appear in different forms throughout the text. Female degeneracy can thus be seen as a survival mechanism, in a world - and a text - dominated by the masculine paradigm, the "manneplot" of traditional male attitudes to women.
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