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Reading: Sexual Politics Revised: A Feminist Re-Reading of D. H. Lawrence’s The Rainbow and Women in ...

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Sexual Politics Revised: A Feminist Re-Reading of D. H. Lawrence’s The Rainbow and Women in Love

Author:

Fereshteh Zangenehpour

University of Gothenburg, SE
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Abstract

In his work, D. H. Lawrence has paid particular attention to the question of (in)visible alliances between the sexes, where the position of power and dominance often is not fixed but is negotiable and constantly in the process of (re)vision. My paper examines Lawrence’s experimentation with definitions and boundaries of public and private gender roles. Both The Rainbow and Women in Love are a good starting point for this inquiry, since the relationship between the male and female characters are problematized in a conscientious and distinctive fashion. Therefore, it is interesting to study the relationship between the characters and see how femininity and masculinity influence each individual’s gender identity, and as a result their gender performance. Additionally, Lawrence consolidates a feminine significance remarkably similar to the disruption, excess, and pleasure celebrated by poststructuralist French feminists as écriture féminine. These novels represent the disruptive power of feminine signification, both on personal and sociopolitical levels, and end with that power still in play. They get to the heart of the conceptual difficulties of gender differences, gender identity and gender performance. They also take on this feminist imperative to define the intensity and changes necessary in personal and cultural life of the modern age, manifesting and maintaining new and different possibilities for subjectivity. I use Luce Irigaray, Hélène Cixous and Judith Butler’s discussions on the concepts of femininity and the feminine subject. I also refer to their gender theories as foundational models to study the conflict and shift between the gender roles in the two-gendered system of cultural norms and ideals in the world of these two novels.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.35360/njes.620
How to Cite: Zangenehpour, F., 2020. Sexual Politics Revised: A Feminist Re-Reading of D. H. Lawrence’s The Rainbow and Women in Love. Nordic Journal of English Studies, 19(5), pp.181–201. DOI: http://doi.org/10.35360/njes.620
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Published on 19 Dec 2020.
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