Captive Bodies: Victorian Construction of Femininity in Wuthering Heights and the Crimson Petal and the White
Languages of publication
This paper argues that both Wuthering Heights (1847) and The Crimson Petal and the White (2002) investigate, expose and condemn the multifaceted inscription of a specific culture on the female body (via the construction of femininity)-the defleshing of female bodies, which in turn makes them docile (at least temporarily). With different degrees of explicitness, the two novels demonstrate how this specific--capitalist, imperialist, patriarchal--culture forces itself onto the bodies of girls/women: the legalized, scientifically justified process whereby female bodies, regardless of class, are defleshed, skinned alive and made to emit signs of subjugation to the patriarchal will--this being their assigned role, without exception, in various male-dominated economies.
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