The Other mothers in Caryl Phillips's The Final Passage and The Lost Child

Güzen, Aybüke
This thesis explores the fictional motherhood representations in Caryl Phillips’s novels The Final Passage (1995) and The Lost Child (2015) through the critical lens of matricentric feminism. Although there is an extensive body of scholarship focusing on these novels from various perspectives, there seems to be a gap in exploring their motherhood representations, which Phillips successfully treats. Phillips, in these novels, presents plural Other motherhood experiences in various contexts. Thus, his novels merit an intersectional reading to comprehend these mother characterisations. With an aim to contribute to the existing scholarship in that regard, this thesis analyses Phillips’s plural mother characters by employing the theoretical framework of matricentric feminism in order to make use of its intersectional focus. It, then, argues that by offering plural and, particularly, Other mother figures in these novels, Caryl Phillips problematises the idealised, universal, and traditional conceptions of motherhood. In so doing, he deconstructs the normative and patriarchal conceptions of motherhood while he lays bare the socio-political and economic inequalities, such as race, class, and colonialism, which affect the experiences of his characters’ mothering(s). As a result of these analyses, this thesis also asserts that Phillips achieves to have a matrifocal narrative not in The Final Passage but in The Lost Child, which he wrote thirty years later.


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Citation Formats
A. Güzen, “The Other mothers in Caryl Phillips’s The Final Passage and The Lost Child,” M.A. - Master of Arts, Middle East Technical University, 2022.