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Beyond Bodies: Gender, Literature and the Enigma of by Daphne Grace

By Daphne Grace

"Articulations and expressions of gender could be destabilising, transgressive, progressive and radical, encompassing either a painful legacy of oppression and a joyous exploration of latest experience." Analysing key texts from the nineteenth to twenty first centuries, this publication explores quite a number British and Anglophone authors to contextualise women's writing and feminist idea with ongoing debates in cognizance experiences. Discussing writers who try to redefine the gendered international of "sexualized" area, even if inner or exterior, psychological or actual, this e-book argues how the "delusion" of gender distinction might be addressed and challenged. In literary idea and in representations of the feminine physique in literature, identification has more and more develop into a transferring, a number of, renegotiable-and controversial-concept. whereas acknowledging old and cultural buildings of sexuality, "writing the body" needs to eventually include wisdom of human attention. right here, an figuring out of awareness from modern technological know-how (especially quantum theory)-as the basic development block of life, past the body-allows precise insights into literary texts to clarify the matter of subjectivity and what it skill to be human. together with dialogue of themes akin to feminism and androgyny, corporation and entrapment, masculinities and masquerade, madness and emotion, and person and social empowerment, this learn additionally creates a full of life engagement with the literary method as a way of fathoming the "enigma" of realization.

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Additional resources for Beyond Bodies: Gender, Literature and the Enigma of Consciousness (Consciousness, Literature and the Arts, Volume 38)

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Moreover, even the house has its vagina dentata,1 the jaw-like menacing gates that can be closed from within, or – once Heathcliff is dead—left harmlessly open to welcome visitors. When Mr Lockwood first arrives, as the new tenant of Thrushcross Grange he visits Wuthering Heights to meet his landlord Heathcliff for the first time, who reluctantly asks him to “walk in”: The “walk in” was uttered with closed teeth, and expressed the sentiment, “Go to the Deuce” even the gate over which he leant manifested no sympathizing movement to the words […] When he saw my horse’s breast fairly pushing the barrier, he did pull out his hand to unchain it …(1).

Happold 1970: 17) Symbols also suggest meaning beyond surface perception and take the mind farther than the level of ratiocination. In Wuthering Heights, windows have far-reaching symbolic implications throughout the novel—mostly associated with freedom and release from imprisonment. Like a Turner painting, they effortlessly but inevitably lead the mind to the contemplation of an infinite horizon. For the elder Catherine, windows offer the only access to physical and spiritual freedom; they offer a threshold to the social transgression available in the solitude of nature, but above all to the transcendence she craves in body and soul: the promise of peace and permanent joy.

Heathcliff in fact is nature, for he is “heath”, the moors, and “cliff”, the peak represented most vividly in the text by the projecting phallic symbol of Penistone Crag, which dominates the whole landscape of the action. Its significance is demonstrated, for example, in the second half of the novel, when the young Cathy Linton (Catherine Earnshaw’s daughter) is prevented from ever travelling as far as the Crag. The cliff becomes a symbol for her of desirable adult attainment of forbidden experience, associated with the forbidden knowledge of her family’s recent history as well as the terrors of adult female participation in patriarchal dominance.

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