‘An eye for an eye’ or ‘a mile to a mile’: versions of replacement

  • Naomi Segal


An eye for an eye is one kind of replacement – not punishment replicating the crime but fines on a scale of equivalences. A mile to a mile is Lewis Carroll’s reductio ad absurdum of how a map represents the world. Can an imitation or a translation ever be faithful? For replacement children, there is no escape from the second skin of another life that was unlived. Whether the same or the other sex, having the same or a different name, they may experience survivors’ guilt, intense jealousy or hopelessness. Similarly, the impossibility of exact replacement does not console any of the actors in the triangle of sexual rivalry; serial monogamy leaves many bodies behind. We end with Mrs de Winter cutting flowers in Rebecca’s garden.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Naomi Segal
    • 1
  1. 1.Birkbeck, University of LondonLondonUK

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