Colonialism In The Lover

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Marguerite Duras’s novel “The Lover” can lend itself to the interpretive extrapolation that colonialism is in essence a social phenomenon which is engendered on the basis of socio-cultural, as well as intra-personal and inter-personal psycho-emotional, all of them being interwoven into another and inter-consequential or inter-determining. The novel, although predominantly functioning on a domestic level, strongly suggests the profound effects of its social frame upon its domestic story, specifically on the characters of the narrator and her mother, as well as the relationship between the two and that of the narrator with her Chinese lover, the latter serving, as I will argue, as an allegory to the process of colonialism. In this paper I will…show more content…
For instance, the narrator mentions at the beginning of the novel that, tellingly, her mother not only is concerned about and adamant on her having “a secondary education”, as “What was enough for her is not enough for her daughter” (Duras 5), but also, more importantly that upon high school, her daughter obtains “a good degree in mathematics” (Duras 5). Indeed, the narrator significantly reveals that this expectation on the part of her mother that was part of her overall planning of “her children’s future”, “had been dinned into me [her] ever since I [she] started school” (Duras 5), with her mother being categorically “against” her desire to “write” “novels” in her life, referring to such an occupation as “nonsense”, and “A childish ideal” (Duras 27). The science of mathematics being arguably culturally mostly associated with males, the mother, as consequence of her internalization of societal misogyny, has, I would argue, a subconscious wish toward a certain masculinization, which she also transfers onto her daughter. Overall, this wish on the part of the mother for her daughter can be interpreted as highly suggestive of the assumption that she indeed regards her daughter as an extension of herself, and that she is thus projecting onto her part of her own idealistic and unfulfilled wishes for her own self. In addition, the mother’s comparatively more profusely expressed fondness for the narrator’s brothers (Duras 7) further reinforces this assumption of the mother’s “idealization of the
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