INDIVIDUALS AT POLES: GENDER BINARY IN THE CLONING OF JOANNA MAY

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Year-Number: 2022-42
Number of pages: 19-29
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Abstract

This article examines the relationships between the characters in Fay Weldon’s The Cloning of Joanna May (1989) and reveals the effect of binary opposition between genders on the relationships. The study analyses the work centering on Helene Cixous’ thoughts, supporting that the world of thought works on binary oppositions and argues that the binary opposition of women and men is the basis of these oppositions. Accordingly, in the male-female binary opposition, one side exists as superior and the other as weak, and the weak side always defines itself according to the superior. Thus, this study argues that the ex-wife of the main character Joanna May, Carl May, is in a superior position in all kinds of relationships regardless of gender, and this superiority plays a role in the nature of her behavior towards both Joanna and other characters. Similarly, based on the idea that Joanna is on the weak side of the binary opposition, it is claimed that she lives a dependent life on Carl, and that she defines her own life according to him. Apart from these two, there are also clones of Joanna and some other characters who experience a similar situation. As a result, it has been found that the relations between these characters are determined by sheer binary opposition due to the change observed in their roles in their relationships with other genders. Freeing themselves from the shackles of the opposition, Joanna and her clones begin to define themselves according to their own values, not the person on the other side of the opposition.

 

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