The Crone Conspiracy: The Literary Evolution of the Aging Woman

By:
Ms. Vicki Ronn,
Ms. Kaylene Daugaard
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The infrequent appearances of "old women" in myth and literature are often limited to the negative stereotypes of witches, nags, or fools. Examination of European mythologies as well as medieval, renaissance, early American, and modern literature will provide obvious recurring archetypes for this discussion. Our paper will analyze works by various classic authors, including St. Paul, Geoffrey Chaucer, Christine de Pizan, William Shakespeare, Benjamin Franklin, and Charles Dickens. The reasons we posit for this bias are patriarchal church systems, misconceptions about gender and aging, and cultural expectations. As more women of age become women of power, they no longer passively accept the old stereotypes and images. The voices of Maya Angelou, Sandra Cisneros, Dr Jane Bolen, and Maureen Murdock offer new messages. In a dynamic, modern culture, older women searching for their own identities in the media and creating their own power groups are subsequently resurrecting and recreating the Crone Goddess.


Keywords: Gender Stereotypes, Ageism, Literature, Mythology, Crone, Cultural Bias, Media, Women, Cultural Changes
Stream: Literature, Literary Studies
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Crone Conspiracy, The


Ms. Vicki Ronn

Teacher, USD 457, English Department Chairperson; Senior Project Coordinator; English Teacher, USD 457, Garden City High School
USA

Authors: Vicki L. Ronn has a Master of Arts in English from Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas, USA. In her eleven-year career as an educator, she has taught a variety of English classes. These include ESL English II (an immersion class), Mythology, and Creative Writing as well as honors level courses. She is also the English department chairperson and coordinator of the senior project program at Garden City High School in Garden City, Kansas, USA. Approximately 2,000 students attend this school; over fifty percent are Hispanic. It has won a BEST school award and is a member of SREB and High Schools That Work. It has been recognized both statewide and nationally for its innovative methods and high standards.

Ms. Kaylene Daugaard

Teacher, USD 457, English Teacher, USD 457, Garden City High School
USA

Kaylene R. Daugaard has a Bachelor of Arts in English Education from Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa, USA. She has been a public educator for twenty years and has taught a wide spectrum of age levels and courses. Currently, she teaches American Literature, Technical Writing, Comedic Literature and Media, and Women's Literature at Garden City High School in Kansas, USA. Approximately 2,000 students attend this school; over fifty percent are Hispanic. It has won a BEST school award and is a member of SREB and High Schools That Work. It has been recognized both statewide and nationally for its innovative methods and high standards.

Ref: H05P0156