Violence in Selected Fiction of Oates : A Zizekian Reading

Yalda Mansouri, Farid Parvaneh


Oates works have been analyzed in the light of violent literature all around the world; however, they are not scruntizied on account of Žižek’s outstanding ideas. Carrying out extensive research, the researcher highlights the positive outcome of  Žižek’s “subjective violence”, “objective violence”, and “systemic violence” (Violence 2) in Oates’ Blonde, Black Water and Rape: A love story.This article argues that the common meaning of violence which according to Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary is “actions or words are intended to hurt people” is not holistically true about the violence portrayed by Oates in her fiction. She depicts that the violence can save one’s life. The reserach presents the idea that outcome of violence can be a means of success in Oates’ stories. Oates’ optimistic view toward violence and positive effects of violence in the life oppressed characters are presented in this article. The writer of this article has made an attempt to attest positive aftermath of violence and to highlight different sorts of violence in Oates’ fiction by referring to aforementioned Žižek’s ideas on violence. Oates has unfolded “symbolic violence”, “objective violence” and “systemic violence” by illuminating violent language and terror which are held by parents, spouse or friends. Furthermore, Oates foregrounds human’s capability of adapting to new situations to create new identity to cope with difficulties.


Objective Violence, Subjective violence, Violence, Symbolic Violence

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