A feminine subject in postmodernist chaos: Janette Winterson's political manifesto in Oranges are not the only fruit

Mónica Calvo Pascual

Abstract

This paper intends to explore Jeanette Winterson's novel Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit (1985) in its reconciliation of postmodernist notions of identity, formal experimentation, and political commitment from the margins of patriarchal society. For this purpose, I shall focus first on Winterson's position with respect to different postmodernist topics and polemics that she deploys so as to reinforce the political agenda that lies behind the writing of the novel. Then, I shall try to unravel how the novel is structured as a chaotic system constituted by several layers of signification whose interaction creates infinite patterns of interpretation. Finally, I shall put forward how this postmodernist antitotalizing narrative strategy recalls in its functioning and implications the kind of writing proposed by French feminists such as Luce Irigaray and Hélene Cixous as the essentially "feminine" expression, in order to conclude that it is this chaotic structure that allows Winterson to provide a space for a female subject defined not in polar opposition to "man" but in her own "feminine", postmodernist terms.

Keywords

Winterson, Jeanette; Oranges are not the only fruit; Literatura inglesa; Novela; Posmodernismo; Identidad femenina; Feminismo; Homosexualidad; Experimentación formal; Niveles de significación



DOI: https://doi.org/10.14198/raei.2000.13.02