Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Judith Lewin

Second Advisor

Anastasia Pease




fiction, cixous, feminine, guin, cixous’s


In her science fiction, Ursula Le Guin breaks down rigid walls comprised of specific roles for sexes and genders. By undermining this binary system, she also challenges Hélène Cixous’s theory of écriture feminine. The thesis is divided into two parts: a comparison of the philosophies of Le Guin and Cixous as seen through their nonfiction, which leads into a reading of Le Guin’s science fiction through a Cixouvian lens. I use The Dispossessed, The Left Hand of Darkness and two collections of short stories, A Fisherman of the Inland Sea and The Birthday of the Other World and Other Stories. LeGuin deconstructs the dichotomies of the masculine/feminine, aggressive/passive and artificial/natural that all emerge with patriarchal societies. LeGuin’s fiction, however, is able to dispute the idea of a woman subject that Cixous champions. I examine Le Guin’s fiction to determine whether she actually achieves the goal that Cixous invites women to do. During the analysis, I show how Le Guin goes beyond Cixous’s goals, to create fiction that transcends the idea of feminine writing as Cixous defines it.