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Female Sexuality in short stories by D. Updike and S. Minot - Essay Example

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A representation of female sexuality is an interesting topic for discussion. When an author tries to describe female sexuality, he positions himself as a psychologist and a philosopher. …
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Female Sexuality in short stories by D. Updike and S. Minot
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Download file to see previous pages In David Updike's story "Summer", one of the main characters, Homer is attracted by the girl whose name is Sandra. Her sexuality is in her innocence. She is a naïve girl and her purity appeals for male’s interest. A girl from “Lust” has different sexual features. She is more experienced girl and it looks like she is searching for the essence of her sexual charm. Thus, both authors consider female sexuality from different perspectives. These girls are prototypes of the blessed woman and the strange woman, if to describe them in terms of religion.
The literary techniques used by the authors are developed with regards to the specific sexual features they want to show. Thus, Sandra’s naïve nature is underlined by the color of her skin: “[when Sandra] first came in her face was faintly flushed, and there was a pinkish line around the snowy band where her bathing suit strap had been, but the back of her legs remained an endearing, pale white” (Updike). Thus, “pinkish skin”, “faintly flushed” face underline that the girl is naïve and innocent. Sandra’s manner to dress is another feature that characterizes her as an innocent little girl, as a virgin. She wears her nightgown and pulls it to her chin while reading at night. In other words, she is conservatively dressed up like a shy little girl. Moreover, the author prefers to use a descriptive manner of writing, metaphors, figurative expressions etc. In such a way he wants to show the abundance and uselessness of figurative literary means on the background of innocence and naïveté of his main heroine. She is pure and innocent and there is no need to describe her by means of excessive usage of figurative literary means, it is much better to focus on her white skin and purity of her intentions.
Minot’s heroine is a victim of her own sexual impulses. It looks as if this girl felt a necessity to be emotionally dependant on her partners. She explains it in a superficial manner: "I thought the worst thing anyone could call you was a cock-teaser. So, if you flirted, you had to be prepared to go through with it. Sleeping with someone was perfectly normal once you had done it (Minot)." Thus, having sex for her is, on the one hand, a normal behavior. But on the other hand, it should be noted that this girl was wandering along labyrinth of her sexual fantasies and could find no exit. From this perspective, this girl is still a “spiritual virgin”, while her sexual contacts concern her body, but not her soul. In this case, her abundance of sexual life is a self-protection strategy against a cruel world. It looks like this girl is fighting against her another Self. She is a victim of her inner turbulence: “Their blank look tells you that the girl they were fucking is not there anymore. You seem to have disappeared (Minot)." Thus, this girl cannot even identify herself as a personality. She guesses, if she is present or not and who she really is. The authors’ techniques of narration correspond with their main characters way of behavior. For example, Updike perfectly describes summer; he tries to make his readers ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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