UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Female identity through language in Simone Schwarz Bart's Pluie et vent sur Télumée Miracle Williams, Helen T.


The focus of inquiry in this thesis is female identity and its representation through Language as seen in the novel Pluie et vent sur Telumee Miracle by Simone Schwarz-Bart. The context of the novel clearly depicts instances of oppression of both women and Blacks. I have chosen to apply feminist interpretations of Lacanian psychoanalytical theory, which qualify a woman's place in the symbolic order of Language as that of "object", in order to analyse women's alienation in Language as depicted in the novel. I believe Lacan's view of Language as a hierarchical system into which the human child is born not only underscores the dominant position of Language in relation to the individual, it also emphasizes the extent to which women are prevented from speaking with the (authoritative) voice of the Subject. I focus on Schwarz-Bart's process for the "feminine" encoding of meaning, whereby the traditional "male" perspective is supplanted by an alternative approach to existence. This initial analysis of the repression of women in a patriarchal or male-dominated discourse is then used as a model to study the position of the Black in a society dominated by Whites. I have adopted Jung's interpretation of the workings of the unconscious as a means of further extending the study from the realm of the sexual (male vs. female) to the political (White vs. Black). Delving more deeply into the Guadeloupian context of Pluie et vent sur Telumee Miracle provides the basis with which to counter the dual Lacanian assumption that (sexual) identity does not exist before its symbolization in discourse and that the individual is therefore limited to expressing himself or herself within the confines of the essential male=subject/ female= object paradigm.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


For non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms_of_use.