Performativity, Subversion and Gender role in Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937)
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This dissertation tries to study performativity subversion and gender role in Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937). The purpose is to shed light on the cultural construction of gender roles in the novel and how the black female character challenges and resists the gender role attributed to her. It explores the way the Afro- American society attributes specific gender roles to Hurston’s black female character. Therefore, this research relies on Judith Butler’s theory ‘Gender Trouble’ in which the two main concepts of ‘Performativity’ and ‘Subversion’ are borrowed. It has been through Janie’s rebellion and deviation that we came to understand the credibility and the efficiency of Butler’s claims of performativity and subversion. Our research includes two chapters divided in two sections. The first deals with the social and natural attribution of gender role. The second shows and discusses the performativity and subversion of Janie. As major result, this study reveals that a noticeable correspondence between Butler’s definition of subversion and Hurston’s protagonist’s rebellion against her patriarchal society. This work concludes that Zora Neale Hurston has contributed to detach women gender role within the Afro- American society from the masculine naturalness assumption. She demonstrated that black women of 1930s America can act and perform their gender roles according to their own will.
- Département d'Anglais