This thesis is an analysis of the Japanese novel Child of Fortune (Chôji) that was written and published in the late 1970s. The author Tsushima Yûko is relatively unknown to the Western public although she is considered to be one of the more important writers of contemporary Japanese literature. Tsushima Yûko often writes about Japanese women s situation, and she is particularly concerned about issues connected to single motherhood, problems related to pregnancy and child rearing, and the absent father . In Japan, there is a myth of motherhood which has been under scrutiny for the last decades. This myth has partly emerged as a result of the good wife and wise mother ideal (also known as the ryôsai kenbo concept) that came into view during the Meiji period (1868-1912). As the expression denotes, women are supposed to devote themselves to labour within the domestic sphere. The characteristics attributed to this ideal have in various ways managed to survive, and women in Japan are to a certain extent still expected to become good wives and wise mothers . Child of Fortune tells the story about a divorced single mother who has problems adhering to the expectations connected to this ideal. But in spite of her reluctance to comply with the maternal ideal she manages to imagine herself pregnant. The central question of the analysis is concerned with why the protagonist experiences an imagined pregnancy and what kind of function it serves. I approach this question by referring to the feminist and philosophical discussion about gender, sex and the body, the way it appears in the works of Toril Moi and Elizabeth Grosz. One of the main concerns of these theorists have been to counter the image of true womanhood that is grounded on biological determinism by yielding some explications to what gender , sex , and the body really accounts for. By using their theoretical reflections I have tried to show in what ways the body may serve as a mean of social criticism. I also propose examples to how the protagonist s behaviour, however passive and inconsistent it may appear to be, is an expression of social dissent rather than being in agreement with the social conventions.