Summer Project Findings: Intellectual and Sexual Journeys in Verena Stefan’s Shedding
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Transcript of Summer Project Findings: Intellectual and Sexual Journeys in Verena Stefan’s Shedding
Summer Project Findings: Intellectual and Sexual Journeys in Verena Stefans Shedding
Summer Project Findings: Intellectual and Sexual Journeys in Verena Stefans SheddingBy Abigail GrableBackgroundSet in West Germany in the 1970sDetailed glimpse into physical and sexual journey of young protagonist Travels throughout Europe, struggling to gain acceptance as both physical object and intellectual beingExperiences unfulfilling relationships and sexual encountersGains exposure to new political attitudes and medical advancementsUltimately becomes advocate for womens civil and reproductive rightsOutline of FindingsThe novella effectively showcases the protagonists struggle for both physical and intellectual acceptance as a woman, through the use of:Recurring themesUnconventional chronologySubtle foreshadowingIt also provides powerful perspective to obstacles that women battle even todayRecurring ThemesSexual appeal VS. intellectual respectDesire to attain physical cohesiveness from head to foot through sexual identification and satisfaction (Stefan 5, 6, 13)Determined to experiment sexually through the birth control pill Relief in being unable to acquire the pill suggests the daunting implications of being sexually active The pill becomes a metaphor for the threat that sexual acceptance poses against a womans own physical and mental well-being
Unconventional Chronology Alternates between progressing and regressing in timeEmphasizes similar roadblocks encountered with each romantic partnerPinpoints dissatisfaction with her partners and her growing cynicism toward sexContrasts the protagonists desire to empower other women with her dwindling interest in spending her life with menSubtle ForeshadowingPredict the protagonists sexual rebellions and their impact on her sexual identityHints at her growing interest in womens politics and womens rights at various instancesDiverting from sexual engagement in the process Indicates protagonists eventual acceptance of women as intimate partnersProve to be more emotionally fulfilling than past relationships with menSexual rebellions highlight the protagonists self-acceptance as both a sexual and intellectual beingReinforce her eventual lack of dependence upon men for such affirmation
This sexual and mental journey can be especially enlightening for modern American women, who are fighting for their reproductive rightsSince contraception, abortions, and a womans sexual identity are largely controversial topics in the United States today, Shedding can provideuseful perspective into the internal and external struggles that accompany themConclusionShedding effectively showcases its protagonists struggle for both physical and intellectual acceptance as a woman, using:Recurring themesUnconventional chronologySubtle foreshadowingIt also provides powerful perspective for empowering women todayQuestionsWhat questions do you have for me?