The Female Bell Cricket Analysis

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In both The Female Bell-Cricket and This Powder Box, Nakamoto Takako and Uno Chiyo explore the notion of female sexuality as power. By asserting their sexuality, the female protagonists in both texts deliberately defy socially-prescribed female virtues of chastity and obedience. This ownership of their sexuality grants them power in their romantic relationships with men and liberates them from the submissive position that women are traditionally expected to be in. It is crucial to note, however, that the depicted ‘strength’ of the two female protagonists is ultimately a constructed façade; they are still tied down by society’s prescriptive ideals of femininity, and have their behavior propelled or influenced by their relationships with men. …show more content…

In The Female Bell-Cricket, Tomoko’s use of “osu” (雄) – a term used to describe the male sex of animals - to describe men reflects the carnal, animalistic desire that she has for them. The opening scene’s deliberate mention of Tomoko indulging in sex with Akita, along with the frequent descriptions of her body throughout the text, openly depicts Tomoko’s ownership and active expression of her sexuality. Such unabashed depictions of the physical relationship between men and women are also present in This Powder Box, with the confessing “I”’s casual tone in recollecting her numerous sexual experiences with different men. In both texts, heterosexual prostitution is raised as well - Tomoko “had simply thrown her glorious body at a man” while the protagonist of This Powder Box had “allowed” herself to engage in a “prostitute’s transaction”. The transgressive depictions of the two female protagonists as willing prostitutes is especially noteworthy, seeing as they challenge socially-established moral codes that place great value on female chastity. Moreover, the two female protagonists’ control over their sexuality seems to grant them a unique form of ‘power’ in relationships with men who are sexually attracted to them. It is hence obvious that there is a direct relationship between female sexuality and power that is portrayed in the two

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