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matos's picture

Regarding the question

Regarding the question which analysis spoke more compellingly to me, Spivak’s or Cixous’, I’m going with Spivak. Though I only read one of the texts she discussed, Frankenstein, the other two are so well known that they had certain connotations that they brought with them, especially Jane Eyre. I’ve heard so much in conversation and popular culture of women aspiring to be Jane Eyre. As much as Austen’s Mr. Darcy is hyped to the perfect man, Jane Eyre has been hyped to be all a young lady should be. Spivak’s analysis was such a new an interesting perspective to me because she seemed to toss Eyre to the side, focusing mostly on the Bertha character. As a woman of color, the focus on a character who was the sole representative of the non-European world in this European imperialism-era novel pulled me in to Spivak’s analysis. Especially, the point that Professor Dalke brought up in the end of Tuesday’s class. The idea that the only way a “foreign” non-European woman’s experience can be relevant in a story of a girl maturing into a woman is as “Jane’s dark double” disgusts me and I reject it.


Also, I want to say that I’m genuinely shocked that a couple of women found that Spivak was “ranting”. To me, Cixous’ piece was more rant-like than Spivak’s and her anger was more obvious, though both showed some rightful indignation. I viewed Spivak’s analysis as more put together, intellectual or “academic” as MRizzo described it. I think that’s another reason why it appealed to me more because it was something I was used to. She analyzed three texts, looking a for a common theme or idea within them, the basis of literary courses.


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