THE EAST LOOKS AT THE WEST, THE WOMAN LOOKS AT THE MAN: A STUDY OF THE GAZE IN BRICK LANE BY MONICA ALI
Keywords: Brick Lane, focalization, imperial gaze, male gaze, subversion
AbstractThe present contribution intends to study the subversive implications of the narratological technique of focalization in Monica Ali’s Brick Lane. Relying on postcolonial and gender studies, I argue that, in Brick Lane, Ali uses focalization to subvert the prevailing centrality of both the white western gaze –the “imperial gaze” as defined by Kaplan (1997)– and the male gaze. To this effect, Ali has created a narrative in which the main focalizer, Nazneen, is a Spivakian subaltern female character, a character who, moreover, is recurrently looking at and scrutinizing western and eastern, dressed and undressed, male and female bodies.
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