Matriarchal Storytelling Shows The Purpose Of The Future: How Watership Down and A Confederacy of Dunces are Matriarchal Maps

Matriarchal storytelling is not a structure just for women. Many men seem to have a natural flair for it as well, but it doesn't matter if you are male, female, transgender, or something else, if your mind is a web and your heart feels purpose, Matriarchal Storytelling is a way to tell a story with the future in mind and at heart.The Matriarchal does not take sides the way the Patriarchal does: it is not "he is right; she is wrong: so let's punish someone for thinking a different way." It is about acknowledging problems, showing how interactions can make problems better or worse, and how our interactions with others in the past affect the outcome in the future. In that, the Matriarchal is a map that has a purpose: how to nurture the future in the present. Think about tomorrow and consequences.

Two classic novels immediately come to mind: Watership Down and A Confederacy of Dunces.

Watership Down is an interesting example of a Matriarchal story because it weaves the "real-life" plight of rabbits having to leave their old warren to make a new one with the stories of their folk hero rabbit. The fables within a story always help the rabbits find a solution, and it the novel shows the purpose of the storyteller: to entertain with wisdom, benevolence, and strategy so that those listening can apply those lessons in their real lives. Stories have purpose. They can make us happy, excited, or even sad and angry, but we are wiser after it than before, even if the lesson is that not everyone will come out with a teachable lesson after going through a trial by fire (think Seinfeld).

A Confederacy of Dunces is different in that the story has a single flagship character, but the story is told in vignettes of other characters as their lives weave in and out until they all collide. The protagonist is the focal point, but he shares the story with other characters who are all very different and as flamboyant and distinctive as the main character. Jones, for instance, is probably one of the most interesting, sympathetic, and brilliantly constructive characters ever written and it is a triumph that a supporting character is the one you root for throughout the book. Ignatius J. Reilly, on the other hand, is a fascinating central character, but he is obnoxious, yet how he is handled is shocking, yet genius. Very few authors keep us guessing whether a character has learned a lesson until the last paragraph, and even then, a single word tells us everything.

It is a classical Matriarchal text.

We don't have many examples of Matriarchal, and that is a shame. It is a way to create epic stories without fear of over-exposing a protagonist: it is perfectly all right to elevate a supporting cast and not worry that a hero will get lost in the shuffle.

Because stories are not just about sharing wisdom: it about unleashing creativity with every ounce of your being.

Have a wonderful 2017.