The Female Gender

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  • The Female Gender
    • Oranges
      • Education is J's rebellion: Elsie leads J to access 'Swinburne', 'Blake'- smorgasbord of Rossetti's 'orchard fruits' rather than the lonely orange
      • Emperor Tetrahedron lives in an 'elastic band' palace and receives 'gifts' (knowledge and creativity). 'No emotion is the final one'- potential; alternative female future
      • 'The human process is continuous ... and dimensional' (Winterson)
      • Authorial intrusion: self aware J with the recognition that people 'panic' when confronted 'with something they don't understand'
      • Success as a woman is linked to one's compliance with feminine stereotypes
        • Shelley is the typical 'Brownie' 1960s mould of a girl; 'white and fluffy' mirage of femininity
        • Shelley is favoured by Mrs Virtue: 'they deserve eachother'
        • Shelley's tame 'village scene' and 'snow sisters' hyacinths reign over J's 'impression of the terrified damned'
        • J abandons 'bunnies' and 'sheep'= 'I shall be writing to your mother'; she is 'avoided' and 'interrupted'
    • The Light Gatherer
      • The maternal female reclaimed as an empowering and liberating position
      • 'The future is female' (Labyris Books)
      • The metaphysical child fractures the shackles of the domestic scene
      • Motherhood is a transformative and illuminating journey
        • Girls allow entrance into a 'wide blue yonder'
        • The 'snow girl' liberates mother from Plato's cave
          • Young women can educate and free- adoration and idolatry from mother
        • 'Like living in a house and suddenly finding a room you didn't know was there, full of treasure and light' (Duffy)
      • 21st century girl a blank slate for success, uncorrupted by patriarchy: eyes 'two clear raindrops', unashamed of womanhood: holding 'the whole moon'
    • The Long Queen
      • Duffy a 'poet for our times'
      • Amalgamation of the masculine and feminine in which success as a monarch is linked to monarchy
        • Androgynous 'crown'. Foreshadows the 2013 Succession to the Crown Act
        • 'Laws', 'ruled and reigned', 'always child'
        • Women can access 'masculine' roles (Judith Butler)
      • Future in which feminine responsibilities are 'hail[ed]' and 'honour[ed]'


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