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"A View from 'Elsewhere' ": Subversive Sexuality and the Rewriting of the Heroine's Story in The Color Purple
Vol. 106, No. 5 (Oct., 1991), pp. 1106-1115
Published by: Modern Language Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/462683
Page Count: 10
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Womens rights, Feminism, African Americans, Female homosexuality, Novels, Incest, Literary criticism, Men, Taboos, Narratives
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By telling the story of the "invisible woman"-a character traditionally silenced and effaced in fiction-The Color Purple challenges patriarchal constructions of femininity and female desire and makes representation itself a compelling issue. Initially, the great twentieth-century cultural narratives of sexuality and socialization, Freud's oedipal theory and Lévi-Strauss's theory of kinship systems and the exchange of women, are played out in the drama of Celie's life. But this differently crafted, quilted novel is also differently sexual; it replots the heroine's text within an alternative framework of desire and disrupts the symbolic order with its carnivalesque celebration of polymorphously perverse pleasure.
PMLA © 1991 Modern Language Association