Neocolonialism In Jessica Hagedorn's Dogeaters '

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Jessica Hagedorn’s Dogeaters exposes lives of numerous characters living in the postcolonial Philippines. Hagedorn vividly paints the picture of a society freed from the foreign oppressor that still clings to the imported values and struggles to recreate itself. The postcolonial confusion and a sense of a lost national identity have allowed for a newly formed nationalism to spread. Yet, the influence of the former U.S rule lingers as society remains infatuated with Hollywood movies, soda drinks, and shopping. The Hagedorn's novel displays “the pressures that neocolonialism places on gender, as well as the pressures the gender places on neocolonialism” (Chang, 637). In this transitional period, men try to recover the patriarchal supremacy in…show more content…
Her unsuppressed sexuality produces the appearance of a wild and uncontrolled woman, but in her relations with men she proves to be tamed and submissive. She is used, and often abused, by her powerful lovers, firstly, the colonial representative, the Englishman who fathered her child, and, secondly, the new neocolonial delegates: the General and the tycoon. For the renowned movie star, these men were “all the same…Carrying around her used panties as if they were a fetish, like a piece of her they had carved off, like her skin” (Hagedorn,226). Sex, for her, is the means of support, it provides her with luxury and she willingly accepts the price she has to pay in return. The first encounter with Luna’s character in the chapter appropriately named “Surrender” portrays her on her knees with her lover, the General, standing above her and pulling her “unruly hair” (Hagedorn, 127). Luna’s lovers need her to exercise their macho potency, as she is another women “in a nexus of suppression, ownership, and violence” (Ashok, 4) only deceiving herself that she is the one who has the control. Lolita is surely worshiped for her beauty and sexual endeavors, and richly rewarded with capitalist commodities, but, whenever she tries to rebel she is constantly reminded that she is a merely kept woman at the mercy of her lovers. In that respect, she is no better than her lovers’ submissive and fully adapted wives. On the other hand, unlike the First Lady and Isabel who enjoy their parts, disgusted Luna always feels the need to escape. Her abuse of drugs in the solitude of her white and sterile bathroom that she perceives as sanctuary provides the rare moments of deviation. Lolita’s desire to buy “her own ticket out of the country” (Hagedorn, 228), verifies her need to abscond the
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