Wide Sargasso Sea

Power over "The Other" : Racial Exploitation and Injustice College

"I already know a thing or two. I know it’s not clothes that make women beautiful or otherwise, nor beauty care, nor expensive creams, nor the distinction or costliness of their finery. I know the problem lies elsewhere. I don’t know where. I only know it isn’t where women think.... You didn’t have to attract desire. Either it was in the women who aroused it or it didn’t exist. Either it was there at first glance or else it had never been. It was instant knowledge of sexual relationship or it was nothing. That too I knew before I experienced it" (Duras, 19-20).

Marguerite Duras gives the reader this prophecy on attraction in her novel, The Lover, words which she, as we soon find, uses to explain her involvement with a man twelve years her senior. She, at the tender age of fifteen, claims to know more about beauty and attraction than women twice her age. She is aware of her body, on the brink of maturity, and what it does to men. She, short of many of the resources listed above, has learned to become creative and uses her body as her only tool for attraction and lust. She, at fifteen, is more sexually aware than most people her age. Her body means power. She is power. It is her power she will use to survive, even if it means...

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