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Becoming Whole Again - Questions of Identity in Jeanette Winterson’s 'Sexing the Cherry'

Hausarbeit 2010 5 Seiten

Anglistik - Literatur

Leseprobe

Jeanette Winterson herself does not want to be seen as a postmodernist writer.[1] However, many of her works show significant features, which identify them to be postmodern, Sexing the Cherry[2] being one of them.

The title of the book refers to the art of grafting as utilized in agriculture and horticulture. It is mostly applied on fruit trees to produce plants which show a combination of desired characteristics. For example, a plant which may have roots that are resistant to cold is fused with a plant which grows a special kind of fruit or blossom but would otherwise perish in winter. In the process of grafting the bark is sliced open and a twig of another tree is inserted into the cut and fastened in place. The original tree provides the twig with nourishment and allows it to grow. “[S]o the two take advantage of each other and produce a third kind, without seed or parent.” [78]. Both trees become one. The motif of fusing things together in order to form something that is closer to perfection can be detected throughout the whole novel.

The form of the novel itself is a graft of perspectives, with its alternating narrations of the Dog-Woman and Jordan as well as their future counter parts and the stories of the twelve dancing princesses. The last ones of which include various allusions to other texts, among them Browning’s His Last Duchess[3] and a rewritten version of Bothers Grimm’s The Frog King and Rapunzel , and almost every one ends with a surprising or ironic twist. “In different ways, these intertextual rewritings serve to challenge patriarchal master narratives”.[4] It is a well established feature of the postmodern novel to question not only the omniscient narrator but also the strict separation of literary genres. In fact, the postmodern novel frequently “blends several forms within the same discourse.”[5] Brothers Grimm’s The Twelve Dancing Princesses is a fairy tale as well. It is grafted into the novel and as Jordan is looking for the twelfth princess Fortunata both literary genres intertwine and eventually grow together.

Jordan himself desires the art of grafting to be applied to him “so that [he] could be a hero like [Tradescant].” [79]. This is due to the fact that he wants to know a mean to his life. He feels uncertain about his identity and who he really is. One reason why he starts to travel with Tradescant is to find an answer to that question: “I’m not looking for God, only for myself.” [102]. During one of his many reflexions he notices a disruption between the body and the inner self. Even though the body is finite, death does not put an end to someone’s existence as such:

[...]


[1] See Sonya Andermahr, Jeanette Winterson (Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) 16.

[2] Jeanette Winterson, Sexing the Cherry (London: Bloomsbury, 1989).

[3] See Andermahr 69.

[4] Andermahr. 69.

[5] Janet Paterson, Postmodernism and the Quebec Novel (Toronto etc.: University of Toronto Press, 1994) 22.

Details

Seiten
5
Jahr
2010
ISBN (eBook)
9783640984824
Dateigröße
452 KB
Sprache
Deutsch
Katalognummer
v177040
Institution / Hochschule
Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel
Note
1,0
Schlagworte
becoming whole again questions identity jeanette winterson’s sexing cherry

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Titel: Becoming Whole Again - Questions of Identity in Jeanette Winterson’s 'Sexing the Cherry'