Nature Greets Man: An Ecofeminist Reading of Elizabeth Bishop's "The Moose"



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My research aims to provide the field of literature with further insight into the representation of women and the natural environment in poetry by using both feminist theory and ecocriticism. In an effort to draw greater conclusions and prevent duplicate research, I will contextualize recent developments in the field of literary criticism and integrate my research findings into the existing body of knowledge. I answer the following question in my research: What impact does the intersection of feminine symbols and masculine symbols found in 'The Moose' have on the representation of human dominance over nature and male dominance over women? My methodology consists of close reading Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex and applying it in tandem with Lawrence Buell's The Environmental Imagination to analyze Elizabeth Bishop's 'The Moose.' I apply De Beauvoir's critical terms, the Other and the Self to the feminine symbolism in the poem. Additionally, Buell argues against the depiction of the environment as a 'projective fantasy.' Through the application of both theories, I argue that the fight for power between the masculine and feminine forces in “The Moose'' is representative of humanity's dominance in a natural environment.