Feminism In Oranges

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The position of the mother as a foster mother, which allowed Jeanette to better experience feelings of resentment in the past, seems to facilitate her ability to forgive her adoptive maternal figure too. The final reconciliation makes it possible to describe the novel as a ‘feminist family romance’, according to the definition provided by Marianne Hirsch. For Hirsch, feminist family romances are those novels where the development of female subjectivity and self-empowerment is determined by the continuation of the mother-daughter relationship, as opposed to the previous common rejection of the maternal figure theorized, amongst others, by Julia Kristeva and Luce Irigaray. The bond within mother and daughter is reevaluated and comes to be considered as an important site for female development and a basis for a vision of gender difference and female specificity. In this type of narratives, women are represented as subjects, capable of relating their own story. However, despite the increased room for the subjective representations of consciousness, the maternal perspective is still silenced under the weight of the daughter 's emerging subjectivity. In Oranges, the mother herself renounces to her power to speak. When she starts suspecting that her daughter’s lesbian tendencies, and thus the girl’s deviance from the heterosexual norm, may be due to the power they were given inside their religious community, she decides to step back, affirming that ‘the message belonged to men’.

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