EFL414_spivak_presentation

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Three Women’s Texts and a Critique of Imperialism:

Three Women’s Texts and a Critique of Imperialism Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak

Spivak :

Spivak An Indian literary critic Post-colonialism Feminist Criticism

A Glimpse into Feminist Analysis:

A Glimpse into Feminist Analysis De Beauvoir Gilbert and Gubar Showalter They were pioneers, but, Where are they from? For whom they speak? Discrimination against women by men (society, the law, rules, literature). What does Spivak say? How does she differ from other feminist critics? Discrimination against women by women. Is it possible? Native female

Three Women’s Texts and a Critique of Imperialism:

Three Women’s Texts and a Critique of Imperialism “T he Empire on which the sun never sets .” British culture, England’s social mission, English, English literature, its cultural representation: imperialism. Literature’s role in production of cultural representation. “Wordling” – The Third World Feminist criticism (individualist feminism) (emerging from Europe and Anglo-America) reproduces basic premises of imperialism.

Three Women’s Texts and a Critique of Imperialism:

Three Women’s Texts and a Critique of Imperialism Three Women’s Texts: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Three Women’s Texts and a Critique of Imperialism:

The object of Spivak’s investigation is the book not the author. “My readings do not seek to undermine the excellence of the artist.” If successful such a reading would provoke “rage against the imperialist narrativization of history” Three Women’s Texts and a Critique of Imperialism

Three Women’s Texts and a Critique of Imperialism:

Individualist Feminism Making of human beings, the constitution, “interpellation” of the subject as “individualist” Two registers Childbearing (compassionate love) Soul Making (social mission) Native female is excluded from any share. In a metropolitan context we read the biography of an aggressive female subject. Three Women’s Texts and a Critique of Imperialism

Three Women’s Texts and a Critique of Imperialism:

Jane Eyre as an Example of Individualist Feminism Marginalization and privatization of the protagonist Rochester’s speech: “Fiery West Indian night ... Hell ... The sweet wind from Europe ...” Bertha Mason The White Jamaican Creole Mad woman in the attic: Jane’s dark double? “... What is was, whether beast or human ... Grovelled on all fours ... Snatched and growled like some strange wild animal.” Three Women’s Texts and a Critique of Imperialism

Three Women’s Texts and a Critique of Imperialism:

Wide Sargasso Sea: Bertha Mason vs. Antoinette Cosway Jane Eyre ’s reinscription, telling the story of Bertha Mason. Rewriting of a scene: Richard Mason: “I cannot interfere legally between yourself and your husband”. Rochester’s renaming Antoinette: Bertha Rochester as a victim of the patriarchy Christophine, the black nurse: “Read and write I don’t know. Other things I know”. Three Women’s Texts and a Critique of Imperialism

Three Women’s Texts and a Critique of Imperialism:

Frankenstein, a feminist text that is hidden because “it does not speak the language of feminist individualism”. Not a battleground of male and female individualism An artificial womb: God and woman as competitors Demolition of the future Eve: Frankenstein cannot produce a daughter because “she might become ten thousand time more malignant” Three Women’s Texts and a Critique of Imperialism

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