Deviant Sexuality Is Denoted By The Spaces And Women's Sexual And Economic Freedom

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In both texts deviant sexuality is denoted by the spaces the characters occupy, as well as the places they have sexual contact. McDowell notes that “associations between migration to the city and urban living and women’s sexual and economic freedom” occurred in the early twentieth century (155). The connection between shopping and performativity of the public woman in these texts has already been acknowledged, however, McDowell further notes that: “a large number of women’s writings about the city are androgynous figures: independent and hard-pressed working-class women, artists’ models or writers, if not deviants and misfits, outside the conventional bonds that define femininity. These female protagonists are women without family, often…show more content…
This analysis puts one in mind of Voyage in the Dark in particular, as Anna travels from the West Indies to London and other parts of England and becomes sexually active, indeed the title references colonialist narratives of discovery, most closely resembling Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness (1899) detailing a journey from London to Africa. The darkness in Conrad’s title referring firstly to the unknown nature of the African landscape and perhaps has racial implications, but more importantly the moral darkness in a non-western space, deemed the counter to the “civilized” world. However, here the discovery is reversed, Anna traverses from a colonised area to England, and the nature of discovery is sexual exploration: Anna’s racial ambiguity in the text means that she is sexualised often, we hear how “…She’s always cold,’ Maudie said. ‘She can’t help it. She was born in a hot place. She was born in the West Indies or somewhere weren’t you, kid? The girls call her he Hottentot. Isn’t that a shame?’” (12). The Hottentot Venus, Saartjie Baartman, was exhibited as a freak to Western paying audiences for her large buttocks, Clifton C. Crais and Pamela Scully write in Sara Baartman and the Hottentot Venus: A Ghost
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