Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts Honours
Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences
Dr Susan Ash
This thesis argues that cultural and discursive attitudes towards miscarriage, stillbirth and abortion attribute maternal blame to these losses and silence the expression of grief over them. It further argues that, following pregnancy loss, this silence and blame, coupled with the veneration and discursive production of motherhood as a woman's biological and psychical destiny, produce 'symptoms' that, according to Freud, are a sign of a pathological melancholia. I suggest, however, that these symptoms - self-reproach and impoverishment of the ego as responses to pregnancy loss, do not necessarily indicate a woman's pathological failure to resolve loss but reflect the social context in which pregnancy loss occurs and the discursive production of miscarriage, stillbirth, abortion and motherhood.
Yannakis, D. (2006). Misconceptions: Loss and melancholia in poetry of miscarriage, stillbirth and abortion. Retrieved from http://ro.ecu.edu.au/theses_hons/1389