Jeanette Winterson’s Literalizing Metaphors in The Passion and Sexing the Cherry

Authors

  • Mustafa Kirca Çankaya University

Keywords:

Jeanette Winterson, The Passion, Sexing the Cherry, metaphor, re-literalization, parody

Abstract

The aim of this study is to analyze Jeanette Winterson’s The Passion and Sexing the Cherry in terms of the feminine symbolic the writer creates in her female characters’ narratives through a process of literalizing dead metaphors. Using metaphors in their literal sense, a rhetorical pattern which Regina Barreca calls “metaphor-into-narrative,” is often deemed a subversive tool in women writers’ works to create “laughter”. It shows that women writers often use a metaphor in a conflicting context in their comedic works, and thereby stripping language of its symbolic quality. The present study argues that the marginal subject position of Winterson’s female characters as “misfits” creates a noticeable difference in their discourses and suggests a move from the symbolic order of language to a feminine symbolic. With the examples from The Passion and Sexing the Cherry, the article studies Winterson’s “literalization” to reveal how the writer uses metaphors out of their original contexts not only to create humor but also to destabilize the singular order of language used in historiographic representation by leaving the distinction between what is figurative and what is literal unclear. Winterson’s female characters in The Passion and in Sexing the Cherry are also fitting examples for Bakhtin’s “Fool” with their resistance to join in the discourse of patriarchy and to understand the habitual ways of conceiving the world.

 

References

Antosa, S. (2008). Crossing boundaries: Bodily paradigms in Jeannette Winterson’s fiction 1985-2000. Aracne.

Bakhtin, M. M. (1992). The dialogic imagination. University of Texas Press.

Barr, H. (1991). Face to face: A conversation between Helen Barr and Jeanette Winterson. The English Review, 2(1), 30-3.

Barreca, R. (1988). Metaphor-into-narrative: Being very careful with words. Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 15, 243-56.

Barreca, R. (1994). Untamed and unabashed: Essays on women and humor. Wayne State University Press.

Bauer, D. (1988). Feminist dialogics: A theory of failed community. State University of New York Press.

Cixous, H. (1997). The laugh of the Medusa. In R. R. Warhol & D. P. Herndl (Eds.), Feminisms: An anthology of literary theory and criticism (pp. 347-362). Rutgers University Press.

Felman, S. (1997). Woman and madness: The critical phallacy. In R. R. Warhol & D. P. Herndl (Eds.), Feminisms: An anthology of literary theory and criticism (pp. 7-20). Rutgers University Press.

Grice, H. & Woods, T. (1998). Introduction. In H. Grice & T. Woods (Eds.), “I’m telling you stories”: Jeannette Winterson and the politics of reading (pp. 1-11). Rodopi.

Gubar, S. (1981). ‘The blank page’ and the issues of female creativity. Critical Inquiry, 8(2), 243-263.

Herndl, D. P. (1991). The dilemmas of feminine dialogic. In D. Bauer & S. J. McKinstry (Eds.), Feminism, Bakhtin, and the dialogic (pp. 7-24). State University of New York Press.

Hutcheon, L. (1989). The poetics of postmodernism. Routledge.

Irigaray, L. (1985). This sex which is not one. Cornell University Press.

Jones, A. R. (1997). Toward an understanding of l’écriture feminine. In R. R. Warhol & D. P. Herndl (Eds.), Feminisms: An anthology of literary theory and criticism (pp. 370-383). Rutgers University Press.

Kirca, M. (2009). Time in Winterson’s novels: Feminizing history in The Passion. University of Bucharest Review, 9(2), 147-52.

Kirca, M. (2009). Postmodernist historical novels: Jeanette Winterson’s and Salman Rushdie’s novels as historiographic metafictions. [Doctoral dissertation, Middle East Technical University].

Korkut, N. (2009). Kinds of parody from the medieval to the postmodern. Peter Lang.

Korkut-Nayki, N. (2014). Woman’s writing and the body in a Turkish context: Erendiz Atasü’s The Other Side of the Mountain. Middle Eastern Literatures, 17(3), 223-237.

Marshall, B. K. (1992). Teaching the postmodern: Fiction and theory. Routledge.

Onega, S. (2006). Jeanette Winterson. Manchester University Press.

Rose, M. A. (1993). Parody: Ancient, modern, post-modern. Cambridge University Press.

Sönmez, M. J-M. (2009). Voices from nowhere: Speakers from other times and countries in Boating for Beginners, The Passion and Sexing the Cherry. In M. J-M Sönmez & M. Ozyurt Kilic (Eds.), Winterson narrating time and space (pp. 98-120). Cambridge Scholars Press.

Stowers, C. (1995). Journeying with Jeanette: Transgressive travels in Winterson’s fiction. In M. Maynard & J. Purvis (Eds.), (Hetero)sexual politics (pp. 139-158). Taylor and Francis.

Swanson, D. L. (1997). Playing in Jeanette Winterson’s ‘the poetics of sex’: Rescuing words for lesbians. Lit: Literature Interpretation Theory, 7(4), 325-337.

Todorov, T. (1975). The fantastic: A structural approach to a literary genre. Cornell U.E.

Tyler, C. A. (1991). Boys will be girls: The politics of gay drag. In D. Fuss (Ed.), Inside/Out (pp. 32-70). Routledge.

White, H. (1973). Metahistory: The historical imagination in the nineteenth-century Europe. Johns Hopkins University Press.

Winterson, J. (2001). The Passion. Vintage.

Winterson, J. (2001). Sexing the Cherry. Vintage.

Downloads

Published

2021-06-30

How to Cite

Kirca, M. (2021). Jeanette Winterson’s Literalizing Metaphors in The Passion and Sexing the Cherry. Journal of Narrative and Language Studies, 9(16), 85–95. Retrieved from https://nalans.com/index.php/nalans/article/view/405

Issue

Section

Articles