Djuna Barnes' "Nightwood" Book Review by write123

Djuna Barnes' "Nightwood"
Looks at the symbolic function of homosexuality in Djuna Barnes' "Nightwood".
# 106553 | 1,315 words | 1 source | MLA | 2008 | US
Published on Aug 08, 2008 in Literature (American) , English (Analysis) , Gender and Sexuality (Homosexuality)

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This paper explains that Djuna Barnes's classic novel "Nightwood" was one of the few great modernist works to address the subject of homosexuality in such an explicit light. The novel deals with the tumultuous relationship of Nora and Robin, a pair of lesbians, and their circle of friends, most notably Matthew, a gay doctor. The author selects a few passages to examine the symbolic role that homosexuality plays throughout the novel particularly within the symbolic polarity of "night" versus "day". The paper explores the connection articulated by Barnes between homosexuality and death and attempts to unravel the complex implications of such an association.

From the Paper:

"The third chapter, "Watchman, What of the Night?" explores this notion of homosexuals as "night people" in great detail. Shortly after Robin has left Nora, Nora shows up at Matthew's house one night around three in the morning in order to discuss her loss. While arriving unexpectedly on someone's doorstep at such a late hour would be considered highly unusual from a "normal" perspective, it seems perfectly natural within the discourse of the "night people" that Barnes has set up in her work. In lieu of consolation, Matthew offers Nora a prolonged discourse on the nature of homosexuality."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Barnes, Djuna. Nightwood: The Original Version and Related Drafts. Ed. Cheryl J. Plumb. Normal, IL: Dalkey Archive, 1995.

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