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n Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies - The gendered embodiment of shame : intersections of acquaintance rape, trauma and self-blame in by Sarah Lotz : original research

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Abstract

This article offers a feminist literary analysis of the gendered embodiment of shame in by Sarah Lotz. In this novel, Lotz depicts female characters who are sexually assaulted by acquaintances and the resultant shame and trauma reside in their bodies. I will demonstrate that the embodied shame of these characters is distinctly gendered and that this shapes their attempts to cope with the aftermath of the sexual assaults. A close reading of the text reveals that the characters are exposed to overwhelming social messages of female culpability in a larger context that is rife with misogyny. As a result, they anticipate blame to such an extent that they blame themselves and internalise this blame as shame. By focusing on the bodies of the survivors, Lotz demonstrates the embodiment of shame, but she also suggests a corporeal challenge to silencing. The bodies of these characters speak loudly, albeit sometimes in the halting language of trauma, and they function to alert them to danger, to help them excavate memories that are made inaccessible and to testify to traumatic sexual assault.


Hierdie artikel bied 'n feministiese letterkundige ontleding van die genderdiskoers oor die beliggaming van skaamte in Sarah Lotz se . In hierdie roman stel Lotz vroulike karakters voor wat seksueel aangerand word deur kennisse en die gepaardgaande skaamte wat in hulle liggame gehuisves word. Ek sal illustreer dat die liggaamlike skaamte van die karakters geslagsrolbepaald is en dat dit hul pogings om die gevolge van die aanrandings te verwerk, beïnvloed. 'n Narratiewe lesing van die teks onthul dat die karakters blootgestel word aan oorweldigende sosiale boodskappe van vroue se laakbaarheid in 'n breër konteks waarbinne vrouehaat algemeen is. Die gevolg is dat vroue blaam tot so 'n mate verwag, dat hulle hulself blameer en die blaam internaliseer as skaamte. Deur te fokus op die liggame van hierdie vroulike karakters demonstreer Lotz die beliggaming van skaamte, maar stel sy ook liggaamlike uitdagings aan stilswye. Die liggame van die karakters praat luidkeels, al is dit soms in die huiwerige taal van trauma. Hulle liggame waarsku hulle wanneer daar gevaar is, help hulle om herinneringe te ontgin wat ontoeganklik is en bied 'n manier om te getuig oor traumatiese seksuele aanrandings.

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/content/literat/35/1/EJC158009
2014-01-01
2016-12-04
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