“Go where the Love Is”: Failed Emotional Negotiations of Space and Identity in Tessa McWatt's This Body

Elena Igartuburu García

Abstract

Identity, space and emotions, although traditionally all traditionally naturalized and delinked from the construction of one another, might also be read as formed by intertwined processes that are guided and shaped by hegemonic powers. Nonetheless, as they delineating difference within and among themselves, the consideration of these three fields and the way they work together in these shaping opens up new ways to approach the split between normative categories of identity, assigned location and adequate feelings, and their subjective perception. Tessa McWatt’s novel This Body presents the reader with two Guyanese characters, Victoria and her nephew Derek, that undergo, at many different levels, this split between subjectivity and a socially and culturally given subject position. Challenging normative ideals, Victoria struggles with her categorization as Other; an endeavour marked by her trajectories and experiences as she negotiates and redeploys a physical as well as a social space of her own in the city of London. Still, her love relationship with a British man would make her drift towards assimilation inasmuch as this affair relocates Victoria within dominant gender, ethnic and class hierarchies.

Keywords

Identity; Space; Emotions; McWatt, Tessa; This Body



DOI: https://doi.org/10.14198/raei.2013.26.05

Copyright (c) 2013 Elena Igartuburu García

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