Lesson 2: Restoring Vivian’s Humanity
1. Gender and Archetypes
For example, consider the following list of “traditional” masculine and feminine attributes:. These characteristics are not inherent, per se, but (to a great extent) culturally conceived. What does that mean?
Strong (esp. physically) Weak (esp. physically)
Emotionless (an absence) Emotional (defined negatively / weakness)
Business / Politics / Social Domestic / Religious / Family / Children
Rational Irrational / Emotional
Rite of Passage Madonna (Virgin Mary / Whore)
Sexually Active (healthy) A-sexual or sexually corrupt
To receive pleasure To give pleasure
Where on the gender "grid" do the following female characters fit?
Masculine or feminine??
Vivian ≠ Mother /Nurturer
Feminine? “ Masculine”?
Vivian’s cancer = ovarian cancer
A kind of assault upon her feminine reproductive materiality
2. Application: a feminist reading
a. Jason and Vivian (Chs. 6-8): Textual/Sexual politics/male violence and the female body: Film clips
b. Grand Rounds (Ch. 9): Body reduced to a text and subsequent objectification of the female body: Film clips
3. Foil Characters and Secondary Characters
Key Concepts → foil character, secondary characters (define)
Kelekian ↔ Vivian
Jason ↔ Vivian
(Ch. 14: “The young doctor, like the senior scholar, prefers research to humanity… the senior scholar ruthlessly denied her simpering students the touch of human kindness she now seeks.”)
Susie ↔ Vivian
Popsicle scene – metaphor
father ↔ Vivian (see film clips)