Mothers and Daughters in Women's Writing - FREN6010

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2022 to 2023.


The module is designed to acquaint students with samples of the main trends within the work of Twentieth Century women writers by paying close attention to the relations between mothers and their daughters who become writers. Each novel chosen is one of personal analysis of the often-violent relationship between the mothers and their daughters who turn to writing in a search for identity and liberation from the mother or maternal figure of their youth. Students analyse the texts in order to evaluate how the picture of the mother has evolved. We will pay close attention to the underlying theme of the progression of the role of women in French society. Each text will also provide us with a variety of specific themes to discuss which will enable us to better understand the changes which French women have faced during this century.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 20

Method of assessment

Examination (2 hours) – 40%
Essay (2,200 words) – 40%
Presentation (20 minutes) – 20%

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List

Colette: Sido
Françoise Sagan: Bonjour Tristesse
Marie Cardinal: Les Mots pour le dire
Marguerite Duras: L'Amant
Nathalie Sarraute: Enfance
Annie Ernaux: Une femme

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

Critically analyse issues surrounding the relationships between mothers and daughters who become writers (such as identity and evolving representations);
Demonstrate a critical appreciation of issues raised by women writers;
Evaluate the role of the family in French society;
Demonstrate their analytical skills relating to close reading and evaluation of literary texts;
Demonstrate their efficient reading speed in French.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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