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Hanson, Charlotte (2022) Chicken. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.97370) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:97370)

Language: English

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Chicken is a novel about a working-class young woman, Claudia, and a year in her life when her mother, Belinda, abandons the family. Chicken invites the reader to consider the social taboo of a woman who opts for herself leaving her children behind when we learn of the constant burden of shame placed upon such a woman even prior to her abandonment. Chicken examines the gendered responsibilities of family, including the emotional and physical labour expected of the female body, and frames it through Claudia that the reader can discover this reality by having someone 'walk a mile' in the shoes of the mother. The mother is absent for most of the novel, and this raises questions of agency and the 'right' of maligned women to give voice to themselves. Chicken attempts to contribute to an emerging working-class discussion through a class-realism lens which aims to alter prevailing public shame cultures and provide space for empathy and change towards a fairer society.

The essay addresses the relationship between Claudia and Belinda and analyses other problematic mothers across a range of media. It speaks to the inequality between classes and genders and examines why working-class women struggle to speak up and whether the novel is an apt place to do that.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Thomas, Scarlett
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.97370
Additional information: The author of this thesis has requested that it be held under closed access. We are sorry but we will not be able to give you access or pass on any requests for access. 13/10/22
Uncontrolled keywords: Class Feminist Trauma Comedy Working-class
Subjects: P Language and Literature
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of English
Funders: University of Kent (
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2022 09:10 UTC
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2022 07:21 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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