Ellis's and Palahniuk's Literature Representation of Sexuality

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Late-twentieth century writers, both men and women, have increasingly used the themes of class, gender and sexuality for representing the prevailing, as well as the changing, social structures and exploitative social controls by one class over the other. …

Introduction

Toni Morrison's Beloved, dealing with the harrowing and haunting effects of slavery, and Bret Easton Ellis' American Psycho, presenting the sexual idiosyncrasies of a psycho-path, treat sexuality in distinctly different ways, former representing the oppressed and exploited 'black' sexuality, and the latter the domineering and exploitative 'white' sexuality. A comparative analysis of the two may prove useful in understanding and appreciating the social constructs of sexuality in American culture and literature.

Toni Morrison, the most powerful Black woman writer of the 1980s and the 1990s, is acclaimed for her exceptional treatment of gender and sexuality, ingeniously combining it with race and class, in intensifying the gender roles and sexuality of her female characters [Christian, 1985]. Dealing with the social oppression of Black woman, Morrison uses sexuality, both as a means of entertainment and expression of the self and also as a symbol of freedom and power to exert influence and control by her socially oppressed and deprived women characters. Morrison even exemplifies sexuality as a glorious expression of love and freedom, going beyond the usual constructs of sex and gender, and as having an energy that may liberate the blacks from the shackles of oppression.
In Beloved Morrison glorifies sexuality as a benign expression of love and freedom through the character of Baby Suggs, an inspired holy woman, who has emerged from her former life as a slave, realising the power of sexuality and love in emancipating the oppressed. ...
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