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The Language of the Body in Suzan Lori Parks’s The Red Letter Plays

  • Journal of Modern English Drama
  • Abbr : JMBARD
  • 2018, 31(3), pp.53-72
  • Publisher : 한국현대영미드라마학회
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Literature > Contemporary English Drama

Lee Wooil 1

1건국대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper focuses on the language of the body represented in Suzan Lori Parks’s two plays: In the Blood and Fucking A. Many contemporary theorists have argued that the human body is not subordinated by transcendent language. Parks is one of the firmest adherents of this intellectual position. In In the Blood, Parks first depicts the letter A, which stands for ‘abortionist, ’ and shifts its meaning to ‘absence. ’ In addition, in Fucking A, Hester’s tooth marks that she made on her and her son’s bodies represent her insistent resistance against the signification of dominant language. In this sense, the most decisive tools of her resistance is her body; using her body as a place of intersection between dominant language and her bodily language, Hester shifts the meaning of A in her own way. By appropriating the dominant language, Hester’s body thus serves as a primary source for developing minorities’ alternative language form. By casting light on her bodily language, I finally argue that Parks’s primary concern is suspending the structure of transcendent language and introducing the language of minorities.

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