Maturation in Audre Lorde's "Zami" Analytical Essay by scribbler

Maturation in Audre Lorde's "Zami"
An analysis of the narrator's personal maturation in Audre Lorde's "Zami: A New Spelling of My Name".
# 152234 | 2,095 words | 1 source | MLA | 2013 | US
Published on Jan 16, 2013 in Literature (General)

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The paper analyzes how in Audre Lorde's "Zami: A New Spelling of My Name", sexual journey is a central theme for the notion of personal maturation. The paper makes the case that the two formative early relationships Lorde's narrator has with her mother and with a girl named Gennie supply painful past experiences of love that the character of Eudora helps the narrator to overcome. The paper demonstrates further that what the narrator learns from a sexual relationship with Eudora creates personal transformation and healing.

From the Paper:

"Zami is an exploration of lesbian sexuality. From the beginning, it indicates that the narrator is sexually precocious. This prepares the reader to experience her journey of maturation vicariously. At the age of four or five, she envisions a close friend: "Most of my childhood fantasies revolved around how I might acquire this little female person for my companion" (Lorde 34). She uses magical thinking to try to get this little desired sister. One day, she meets the girl Toni and falls in love with her honey-brown skin and ruddy glow. Her young sensuality is evident as she explores the other child's clothes and body in the cold, unbuttoning her coat. She says, "I wanted to take off all of her clothes, and touch her live little brown body and make sure she was real" (Lorde 40). Sweating and shaking with excitement, she "reached up under the welter of dress and petticoats and took hold of the waistband of her knickers," wondering what Toni's bottom feels like (Lorde 40). This curious procedure is interrupted just as she is about to pull down Toni's panties. This episode sets up how the story is in many ways about the narrator's movement towards full acceptance of her gender identity as a lesbian. It begins the process of moving from naive love to mature love through sexual passage."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Lorde, Audre. Zami: A New Spelling of My Name. Freedom, CA: The Crossing Press, 1982.

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