The Laugh of the Medusa Analysis

The Laugh of the Medusa Analysis


Words transform likelihood into reality and, through the sheer force of characterisation, change tendencies into actions. Women are committed to the principle that words and acts both have repercussions. Women and language have a unique and somewhat complicated relationship; as a result of their long history of being denied the ability to express their desires or start revolutions, women have turned to language as a means of interacting with society and, in some cases, exerting a dominant influence on the rest of the world. Men do it too, for sure, but women go about it differently. (Does that surprise you at all?) “Female writing” is what is meant by écriture féminine.

The philosophy that reveals the relationship between the racial and emotional etching of the female body and woman’s distinctiveness in text and language. The term “feminine writing,” also known as écriture féminine, was created by Cixous in his famous book “The Laugh of the Medusa” in 1976. Writing for women that uses philosophy places a strong emphasis on language to help readers comprehend the characters. This broad idea expands on past work in psychoanalysis about the process by which people learn about their roles. It illustrates how women are typically regarded as “foreign” in a masculine symbolic order in an effort to accomplish that.


The 1976 book “The Laugh of the Medusa,” which is still widely read today, is essential to comprehending the fundamental ideas behind this philosophy. The centering of the phallus and the male perspective is known as phallocentrism. Phallogocentrism is the preference for the masculine in knowledge formation, as well as the implications of the notion of écriture féminine. According to Hélène Cixous, écriture féminine is a response to a masculine economy that dominates philosophy and literature and where women have been persistently suppressed globally. “A woman must put pen to paper about herself, and also bring and relate other women in their work, as they have been denied from the basic luxury of freedom of expression thus far,” insists Hélène Cixous.

Cixous incited women to emigrate from the sexist culture that men had established specifically to force their will on them. She advised women to write openly, bravely, and to express the unbelievable. She is confident that male writers have also participated in ecriture féminine, which is not just seen as an opportunity for female writers. Due of Cixous’ many references to the female body, some have viewed it as a nebulous idea that is difficult to reconcile with the overall idea of écriture féminine articulated by Cixous.

Cixous does not give a clear-cut description of what constitutes feminine writing or the procedures required to produce it. In fact, she claims that it is impossible to identify feminine writing. She does not intend for her speech to be theoretical in the conventional sense since she opposes a conventional, and thus male-centered, construction of meaning. She only partially succeeds in avoiding speculation and examination. Despite the lack of a precise description, it can be determined that Virginia Woolf’s ideas reflect the broad idea that a new style of writing for women is needed. The purpose is to explore the suitability and adaptability of Cixous’s conception of féminine for the interpretation of Woolf’s feminist tendencies in her writings.

The lives of women in history were frequently undervalued in comparison to the lives of males, as Virginia Woolf explained in some of her writings. Her persona, Judith, was developed to demonstrate that women could only perform a certain role. Because she preferred learning to being married, Judith was brutally reprimanded and physically assaulted; as a result, she eventually committed suicide and vanished from public view. Judith is used as an illustration of the regrettable and intentional erasing of women’s achievements and potential.

Works Cited

The Medusa’s Laugh by Hélène Cixous. Keith and Paula Cohen did the translation. Summer 1976, Volume 1, Number 4, Pages 875-893

Virginia Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own.” N. p., (2018). (2018).


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