HOW WOMEN TALK WITH/ABOUT MEN IN THE POSTMODERNIST NOVEL
My paper tries to deconstruct and re-construct the sexual identity/gender roles freed from the patriarchal restrictions imposed by society through the voice of a postmodernist female writer (Iris Murdoch) who analyses a man’s fall, failure (sexually, artistically, sentimentally) in her novel The Black Prince; the female writer aims at: re-defining femininity and masculinity, refusing the transformation of the woman into a sexual object for the male consumers, rejecting pornography and violence against women within a family or a relationship. Women are not attributed features like: self-sacrifice, patience, obedience, etc. which might destine them for the role as a mother, wife or lover. The novel tends to transmit its readers several contradictory messages – women are encouraged to express their own desires and to rejoice their sexuality, to choose a career on their own, to educate themselves, but at the same time they are taught to bind their existence to private spaces and to remain submissive to their husbands as much as possible – and it also promotes the creation of a new language, a new type of discourse which invites to re-writing, revision of the old order and to further analysis. Therefore, the female writer seems to place the protagonist’s (Bradley Pearson) language and behaviour in this novel under the influence of the gender discourse: his authoritarian (patriarchal) tendencies represent in fact the voice of the masculine weakness and frustrations against the feminine domination or carelessness.