The Marked Body: Domestic Violence in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Literature
The ambiguities and paradoxes of domestic violence were amplified in Victorian culture, which emphasized the home as a woman s place of security. In The Marked Body, Kate Lawson and Lynn Shakinovsky examine the discarded and violated bodies of middle-class women in selected texts of mid-nineteenth-century fiction and poetry. Guided by observations from feminism, psychoanalysis, and trauma theory, they argue that, in these works, domestic violence is a crucible in which the female body is placed, where it becomes marked by scars and disfigurement. Yet, they contend, these wounds go beyond violence to bring these women to a broader state of female subjectivity, sexuality, and consciousness. The female body, already the site of alterity, is inscribed with something that cannot be expressed; it thus becomes that which is culturally and physically denied, the place which is not.
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