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Female Subjectivity In Blood And Guts In High School By Kahty Acker

770 words - 4 pages

Female subjectivity is a prominent theme throughout Acker’s novel Blood and Guts in High School. The subjectivity that Janey, the protagonist, observes and experiences, consciously and subconsciously, plays an important role on how she identifies herself and characterizes others around her. Janey is introduced in the novel as a 10 year old girl and the reader is allowed to follow her up until her death at age 14. Thus the reader sees how her young, impressionable mind is corrupted over time and how these experiences and observations not only rob her of an innocent youth but ultimately control her. Janey’s happiness, and existence, is dependent upon her relations with men.
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This alleged domination from a female emasculates him and his behavior after this point is his resistance and opposition of her role in his life. The separation is hard for Janey because Johnny (man) has become that vital element in her life and the relationship has, for Janey, created a dependence on this figure that she now epitomizes, man.
This dependence on man that Janey has developed has crippled her in a way that she is unable to see herself without him because she has never been without him. The absence of her mother, or any maternal figure, is also fettering for her because that knowledge of her identity as a woman is not accessible to her. The father uses this to his advantage by manipulating her to control what’s left of their relationship. Janey is so blinded by her love for him and her desperation to keep him that she subconsciously submits to him. The father clearly expresses that he wants to be apart from Janey but he continues to use her at his discretion for sex, comfort, and entertainment. Janey is again, desperate for his acceptance that she does whatever to please him. She is then conditioned that she must be submissive and available to man...

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