The Repression of Patriarchy and Imperialism in Barbara Kingslover’s The Poisonwood Bible

Halla A. Shureteh, Raja Al-Khalili

Abstract


The present paper shows the special interesting case of Barbara Kingslover’s interweaving of the voicelessness of contemporary American women with the colonial subjugation and helplessness of an African nation in The Poisonwood Bible (1998). Through the critical lenses of Chinwa Achebe and Frantz Fanon this study focuses on showing Kingslover’s representation of and response to this double-layered marginalization and voicelessness of women and colonized nations. Drawing on Gayatri Spivak’s metaphor of speaking as a form of revolt against the overwhelming subjugation, this paper also shows how Kingslover creates voice to speak for the voiceless women and the colonized African nation, an attempt perhaps to undo the silencing carried out to sustain a patriarchal and imperialistic culture.


Keywords


Male dominance; Contemporary American women discourse; American imperialism; Postcolonial feminist literature; Barbara Kingslover

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References


Achebe, C. (1994). Things fall apart.New York: Anchor Books.

Achebe, C. (2002). Dead men’s path. In Literature: An introduction to fiction, poetry, and drama (pp. 495-497). In X. J. Kennedy & Dana Gioia (8th, ed). New York: Longman.

Davis, A. Y. (1983). Women race and class. New York: Vintage Books.

Fanon, F. (1963). The wretched of the earth. New York: Grove Press.

Gilman, C. P. (2003). The yellow wallpaper. In Norton anthology of American literature 1865-1914 (pp.832-844). In N. Baym (6th ed). New York: Norton Company.

Kingslover, B. (1998). The Poisonwood Bible. New York: Harpur Collins Publishers.

Spivak, G. (2003). Can the subaltern speak? In from modernism to postmodernism: An Anthology (pp.319-341). In L. Cahoone (Ed). MA: Blackwell Publishing.

Strehle, S. (2008). Chosen people: American exceptionalism in Kingslover’s The Poisonwood Bible. In Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction, 49(4). 413-428.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/n

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