||In this thesis I will look at the work of women writers who find their voice through imaginative identification with female fairytale character types who transform their lives through the power of speech. The writers I focus on are Connie Porter, Julia Alvarez, and Anne Sexton, and the character types they identify with are respectively Rapunzhel, Scheherazade, and the character type of the witch. Each of these writers and the characters they identify with are different, but all have one thing in common: they learn to use their voice to dramatically improve their social situation and alter the way that others look at them and the way they look at themselves. For each of these writers, the identification is quite personal and rooted in their specific social situation.
In Chapter One I discuss Kate Bernheimer's Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Women Writers Explore Their Favorite Fairy Tales to explore the appeal of fairy tales to women writers in general. Women writers in this book talk about their relation with fairy tales, and their narration reveals the influence fairy tales have on them. In the second chapter I will look at what some women novelists have to say about how fairy tales influenced their becoming writers and finding their individual voice. The discussion is about how each of them narrates their relation with their favorite fairy tales and how their identification with fairytale character types that embody their inner voice helps them in becoming writers. In the third and fourth chapters I will focus on Anne Sexton and her fairy tale retelling poetry, Transformations. In the discussion I will try to say that Transformations shows a woman writer's intention of empowerment. By creating a witch storyteller, exhibiting the confinement of female characters in stories, and reframing fairy tales in her own words, Sexton shows her power in being a female storyteller.