Gender Performativity and Fluctuating Hierarchies: A Postmodern Feminist Study of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl
The postmodern feminist discourse relies essentially on disrupting structured stereotypical gendered roles and maintaining a fluidity which is natural to both men and women. Gillian Flynn, in her novel, Gone Girl, has portrayed Woman as a state of existence where characteristics attributed to both male and female sexuality coexist. Amy displays her emotional feminine vulnerability leading to actions of revenge based on clever and manipulative designs- characteristics which are considered masculine in nature. Nick falls prey to the trap laid by Amy and becomes a metaphorical victim of traditional ‘female elimination’ (where females were eliminated conveniently if they deviated from their accorded traditional roles). Helen Cixous, Christine Delphy, Luce Irigaray and Judith Baxter study the feminist discourse and they formulate an idea where femininity exists in both men and women, and vice versa. They discourage the simplicity of male/female binary and create a creative complexity which provides more room for theoretical critique. The paper studies major and minor characters from Flynn’s novel utilizing studies provided by these commended feminist theorists. Their studies provide the theoretical underpinning based on which, a conclusion will be drawn upon, relating women as economically, sexually, and socially independent beings. The male/female hierarchies, as accepted by the society, will be disrupted; consequentially, new horizontal hierarchies will be formulated. Economic, social, and sexual superiority by women will lead them into dominating the male characters from the novel, breaking the norm of male/female stereotypes.
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