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Pornography and Representations of Women: The Secret Agent and Victory

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Abstract

Focusing on staged representations of women in The Secret Agent and Victory, this chapter considers Conrad’s ironic treatment of the family pornography shop in The Secret Agent and its unappealing merchandise as a kind of inversion of pornographic representation that serves to expose women’s positioning in both novels as desirable commodities with a lack of autonomy in their lives. Conrad depicts a range of representations of women in these novels, portraying Lombroso’s criminal anthropology as effectively pornographic and dismissing the political possibility of women’s liberation as another artificial role foisted on women. Framing both women in sensational narratives, Conrad dramatizes the ways in which their choices are shaped by Victorian gender categories and the familiar representations that support those categories.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EnglishUniversity of South AlabamaMobileUSA

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