Does Duras's The Lover

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Question: Even in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, the woman is still assumed to be the passive partner in a sexual relationship.’ Does Duras’s The Lover portray an exception to this statement, and if so, in what ways? Introduction The issue of relationship, love, and sexuality has been in existence for many years and has attracted a lot of interest, which has led to the publication of various pieces of literature. Dating back to the early days of civilisation, man has been at the forefront of initiating the matters of interest in a relationship whether sexual or otherwise. Man has been seen to assume an active role in a love and sexual relationship. To cite the words of Moore (2005, p.84) “man is always perceived as the boss and thus…show more content…
The trend was particularly popular in the early 17th and 18th century where a woman was treated with much chauvinism. With the onset of civilisation, it was expected that the trend would somehow change to favour the active role of women. Truth is that even in the 21st century, women are still regarded as inferior by their male counterparts. They are still assumed to partake a passive role in love and sexuality. However, it is unwise to generalise this concept and instead, there is a need to focus on the few isolated cases as described by Marguerite Duras’s novel The Lover. The Lover is a semi-autobiographical work based in a 1920’s setting and tells the story of a 15 year old French girl who falls in love and has her first sexual relationship with a Chinese man in his late twenties. The relationship between the two is doomed to fail based on the many obstacles they face. Set in the colonial period, the novel demonstrates how the issue of male masculinity dominated the French Indochina. Duras put the reader through the intricacies of the sexual relationship between the two couples highlighting the assertiveness and rejection that the French man portrays (Duras

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