Beyond God the Father: The Manawaka Novels of Margaret Laurence as a Feminist Rewriting of T. S. Eliot’s Four Quartets


  • K. Chellappan


If, according to Margaret Laurence, 'Humankind's Quest for the archetypal parents, for our gods, for our own meanings in the face of our knowledge of the inevitability of death, is central to mythology, religion and history', it is also central to her own fiction. Her four Manawaka novels are sagas of spiritual quests for freedom. They enact journeys in time and place simultaneously; and unlike traditional male heroes, her heroines descend into the depths of their own being as well as the cultural past and return after discovering their own power. In that process, they seem to reject institutionalised religion and seek to find the god within who is the god of creativity and love - unlike the patriarchal God.