The Marked Body: Domestic Violence in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Literature

Front Cover
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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Contents

A FRIGHTFUL OBJECT
23
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ABJECTION
41
VIOLENCE CAUSALITY AND THE SHOCK OF HISTORY
61
THE SINS OF THE FATHER AND THE FEMALE LINE
85
RAPE TRANSGRESSION AND THE
105
WILL SHE END LIKE ME?
125
CONCLUSION
151
WORKS CITED
181
INDEX
195
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Kate Lawson is Associate Professor of English at the University of Northern British Columbia.

Lynn Shakinovsky is Associate Professor of English at Wilfrid Laurier University.

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