Sexual abuse in 'Disgrace' and 'Cereus Blooms at Night': the case for hope

Balwan Sachdev, Neena 2013, Sexual abuse in 'Disgrace' and 'Cereus Blooms at Night': the case for hope, in Proceedings of the 5th Annual Conference of Hope: Probing the Boundaries. 2013, InterDisciplinary.Net, Oxfordshire, England, pp. 1-6.

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Title Sexual abuse in 'Disgrace' and 'Cereus Blooms at Night': the case for hope
Author(s) Balwan Sachdev, Neena
Conference name Hope: Probing the Boundaries Annual Conference (5th : 2013 : Lisbon, Portugal)
Conference location Lisbon, Portugal
Conference dates 10-12 Mar. 2013
Title of proceedings Proceedings of the 5th Annual Conference of Hope: Probing the Boundaries. 2013
Editor(s) [unknown]
Publication date 2013
Conference series Hope: Probing the Boundaries Annual Conference
Start page 1
End page 6
Total pages 6
Publisher InterDisciplinary.Net
Place of publication Oxfordshire, England
Keyword(s) sexual abuse
Deleuze and Guattari
Cereus Blooms at Night
Summary Abuse is rife in Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee and Cereus Blooms at Night by Shani Mootoo. Sexual violence is in both narratives, part of their richly textured social, emotional and political worlds. Fiction involving various traumas seems bleak, almost hopeless, perhaps weighted by sadness. Yet both these novels, even through depictions of rupturing, disruptive rape, trigger a recognition of possibility and potential among characters and perhaps readers. It is in this open ended potential for betterment of some kind that hope lies. What is the nature of hope and to what extent is it present in these novels? In this paper, I explore the emotion of hope in relation to the notion of becoming as elaborated on by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari particularly in A Thousand Plateaus. They expound on Remy Chauvin‟s term “aparallel evolution” in relation to becoming (Deleuze and Guattari, 11). Deleuze also states that becoming is not a “phenomena of imitation or assimilation”. Rather, it is an encounter, “a double capture” (Deleuze and Parnet 2) between heterogeneous elements. There is no end or destination in becoming; it is constant change. I examine the transformative potential of becoming to elicit signs of hope in these novels. David Lurie, the self-absorbed womaniser and arguably rapist, becomes-dog by the end of Disgrace. How does this contribute to any sense of redemption and consequently hope? And how does hope emanate from the beaten, broken, brutally raped Mala Ramchandin in Cereus Blooms at Night? At heart, this paper is an acknowledgment of the unique relation literature has with life and the enriching insight that it may provide into the expression of hope.
Language eng
Field of Research 199999 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970119 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of the Creative Arts and Writing
HERDC Research category E2 Full written paper - non-refereed / Abstract reviewed
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Document type: Conference Paper
Collections: Faculty of Arts and Education
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Created: Fri, 06 Sep 2013, 11:42:51 EST by Neena Balwan Sachdev

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