Feminist Reading Of Roxana English Literature Essay
|✅ Paper Type: Free Essay||✅ Subject: English Literature|
|✅ Wordcount: 1299 words||✅ Published: 1st Jan 2015|
The division of feminist can be in two groups, socialist feminist and bourgeois feminist. The first group is the movement more political oriented, more challenging than the second one. In the bourgeois the aim is at achievement of masculine world, they seek the success thought by men. Therefore they try to become as powerful as men. The structure of patriarchy is upheld by female imitation.
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Because of the faulty foundation of western thinking which lies in structural binaries, the head is in front of heart and active in front of passive and mind in front of body. What patriarchy ignores is that these two poles are interconnected. One cannot live without the other .man and female existence is inseparable and their identity is bound to each other. HIS rational and reasoning condition gain meaning beside HER emotional and physical appearance.
Helen Cixoux suggest for above structure, physical aspect of female body which can be away and oppose to male territory. This idea can pave the ways for plurality of the selves and prepare possibilities for plural identities. Shifting selves, which the traditional fixed self is refuted, gave female the voice stronger than male reason. So, this voice offers them privilege body over mind. For Cixoux, uncertain characters with unstable point of view in the refuted linear time in story are more acceptable.
Luce Irigary, like Cixoux, attacks the rationality of western culture, that reason and logic are male standards because there can hardly be any benefit for the female. Patriarchal western culture has structure in either THIS or THAT so, the degree of ambiguity is reduced to minimum. Certainty and absolute are maximized. This is masculine product that she rejects this idea and refutes it.
Another important issue for her is “home” idea or “homophobia”. Home for woman is not space of safely, is space of suffer. They wish to escape from it to produce female subjectivity and for this reason, it is necessary to leave behind safely of home, the known and comfort to experience the unknown, risky and dangerous. Both linguistically and emotionally woman should experience otherness, unfamiliar and strangeness. She also insists on the production of female language to subvert male structure and to refute male patriarchy, women should speak their own language.
But Kristiva speaks different from two others. For her female body does not matter. For her social and historical aspects of subjectivity is vital. Identity is given to a person as soon as she is born. Social order cannot bear the freedom of its functions. It uses of all its power to move them along with ideology. All cultural products and texts are result of historical dialectics, between two forces which one tries to put in place to establish a system and the other one to subverts and undermines it.
In DEFOE novel ROXANA, the female character use of her own body as a weapon or instrument to abuse men. She uses of her own body to make men, even the most powerful ones, bow her and bent her. We can divide this novel in two parts. The first part her living in her father’s home , obeying him and marring whom her father orders and her entrance to her husband life, again fallowing his rules and just produced children as a good slave or function, according to the rules and grammars of society. In this part Roxana, the woman, is silent. The atmosphere of the section is completely under male authority. But the second part which is the major part of the novel belongs to Roxana, female zone. She is not silent anymore. This is the world of woman, world of sound, voice and pleasure. As Kristiva mentions, Semiotic form of life in women’s culture is different from grammatical and structural life of the men. That is the distinguish point in sexes, reasonable man and pleasurable woman.
“HOME” was a prison, known zone, for Roxana, but she travels from known to unknown. Prison makes her experience and uplifts her to enter new world, world of power, male and authority. In her partnership with prince she is also poisoned for a while. No access to outside world, again her entrance to home is poisoning and her access to experience was blocking.
Traveling is important issue in this novel. She changes her space different times, from England to France, from France to Italy, always is travelling from known to unknown. That is the woman’s world. Roxana’s changing spaces, showing her unstable and not fixed identity. Most of her travels are from public to private, external to internal. She is searching for identity and stability. Here is the nomadic sign system, counter signifying of woman. Looking for peace, comfort and freedom but can never reach it, (Deuluzian desire).
She is colonized by other men; her body has a performative function for men and ideology because satisfies masculine world and as she is productive, she fulfills the ideology. But this is a binary system, self and the other, she also colonizes them. They are colonized by her body affection, cannot leave her even the most powerful ones, prince, king, landlord, merchantââ‚¬¦., all are connected to her, so, their rational mind is useless and her physical appearance is superior. This is the point that neither masculine nor feminine can object. Both are trapped in each other affections.
Roxana performs her action in three parts, as a wife, as a mistress, as a whore. The plurality of identity and functionality are results of these performances. Each part has its own individual characteristics. Private and public, inward and outward in each case is different. As a wife her private belongs to herself and her family but as a prince’s mistress her private is shared by public, so, for political and security reason she is avoided to let her inside times to external world and as a whore her private belongs to all, no restriction, its mixed with public enthusiasm.
The matter of desire and lack is the other matter that can be discussed. The desire to becoming, she desires to become needless and get out of poverty, but her chain of desire expanded and she becomes whore to be wealthy. Her condition of poverty improves to ideal state, but, her desires were endless, woman of pleasure changes to business woman. Desires are counter signifying, nomadic sign system. (Deuluzian desire).
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Roxana is telling the whole story, all time repeating her life story, so, she becomes text, subject, and an icon. Her private turns to public and her unknown world is opened. Her textuality mingling with her personal life leads her to escape even from her own children. She wants to have male authority and power but ruined herself, although she gets money, power but these released her to other creature, “lady Roxana”, the name that at the end she escapes it. Always she is escaping from KNOWN, because it terrifies her.
starting with Cixoux and Irigary and ending with Kristiva’s idea researcher wants to mention the real process of society that even in case of feminism the trace of ideology is visible and dividing sexes according to their individual characteristics is inevitable, Because the social and environmental features never have stable quality and always changing, human being, no matter man or woman, is changeable because their desires is counter signifying, and never ends.
ROUTLEDGE COMPANION TO FEMINISM& POST FEMINISM: BY SARA GAMBLE
FEMINIST AND PSYCHOANALYSIS: BY DANIEL RAMSEY
HISTORY OF FEMINIST: BY GILLAN PLAIN & SUSAN SELLERS
FEMINIST CRITICISM &POST STRUCTURALIST: BY CLAY COLEBROOK
GENDER TROUBLE: BY JUDITH BUTLER
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