Winterson 's "Oranges are Not the Only Fruit" Book Review by Jay Writtings LLC

Winterson 's "Oranges are Not the Only Fruit"
This paper review's Jeanette Winterson 's novel "Oranges are Not the Only Fruit."
# 119683 | 2,536 words | 8 sources | MLA | 2010 | US

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This paper explores love and relationships between women, as seen in Jeanette Winterson's award winning novel "Oranges are not the Only Fruit." The reviewer considers the novel in terms of Adrianne Rich's "lesbian continuum." A definition of lesbianism in light of Rich's continuum and Winterson's novel is also given. A plot summary of the novel is presented, and a character analysis of Jeanette, the protagonist. Jeanette's relationships with women are described as are her opinions of men. The author concludes that Jeanette Winterson has constructed a powerful lesbian continuum for a fiction-oriented audience.

From the Paper:

"Essentially, Rich is taking much of the sex out of lesbianism, a position with which many lesbians and lesbian scholars would not be averse; in fact, this definition is incredibly close to Lillian Faderman's explanation of "romantic friendships" in her anthology of lesbian literature Chloe Plus Olivia. Furthermore, in her study Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers, Faderman finds that many lesbians feel that "sex doesn't have much to do with it" (248). Rather, the focus is on nurturing and mutual support; sex may or may not be involved, but sex doesn't make the lesbian. Winterson's fictional community marks not only the novel's heroine as lesbian, but each woman she interacts with during the course of her life, because her small community allows for romantic friendships of almost all types, for nearly all the ties Rich discusses (although unfortunately for the protagonist it stops short at a very essential spot)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Carter, Keryn. "The Consuming Fruit: Oranges, Demons, and Daughters." Critique 40:1, (1998): 38 pars. November 24, 2003.
  • Faderman, Lillian. "Introduction to Kindred Spirits: The Literature of Romantic Friendship." Chloe Plus Olivia: An Anthology of Lesbian Literature from the Seventeenth Century to the Present. Compiled and edited by Lillian Faderman. Penguin Books, 1994. 3-9. Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers: A History of Lesbian Life in Twentieth-Century America. Penguin Books, 1991.
  • Hinds, Hilary. "Oranges are Not the Only Fruit: Reaching Audiences Other Lesbian Texts Cannot Reach." New Lesbian Criticism: Literary and Cultural Readings.Ed. Sally Munt. New York, Oxford: Columbia UP, 1992. 153-172.
  • Rich, Adrienne. "Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence." Blood, Bread and Poetry: Selected Prose 1979-1985. New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 1986. 23-75.
  • Rivkin, Julie and Michael Ryan. "Introduction: Contingencies of Gender." Literary Theory: An Anthology, Revised Edition. Eds. Julie Rivkin and Michael Ryan. Blackwell Publishing, 1998. 675-678.

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