Degree Name

Master of Arts (Hons.)


Department of English


This dissertation examines literary representations of women in Melanesia. In particular, it seeks to assess the nature and extent of a minority female voice in Melanesian literature. Through the writings of the Papua New Guinea male and female writers and the writings of women from the other Melanesian countries, this dissertation examines the male image of women in society; and the women's view of themselves. It considers the difference between the male and female voice. The main focus is on the Papua New Guinea women's self-expression through literature and the common elements they share with the other Melanesian women's writings. It concludes that the majority of women in Melanesia are muted by the patriarchal tradition and illiteracy. Only a few educated ones choose to write. However, not all of these engage directly on women's issues. Some of them indirectly voice issues affecting their well-being by critiquing inadequacies of the social, political and economic life of the society where male dominance is paramount. Women still undergo various forms of colonization and in many circumstances remain self-effacing. Their voice calls for democracy not only on the politcal level, but also on the domestic level.