THE EAST LOOKS AT THE WEST, THE WOMAN LOOKS AT THE MAN: A STUDY OF THE GAZE IN BRICK LANE BY MONICA ALI

  • Noemí Pereira University of Santiago de Compostela
Keywords: Brick Lane, focalization, imperial gaze, male gaze, subversion

Abstract

The present contribution intends to study the subversive implications of the narratological technique of focalization in Monica Ali’s Brick Lane. Relying on postcolonial and gender studies, I argue that, in Brick Lane, Ali uses focalization to subvert the prevailing centrality of both the white western gaze –the “imperial gaze” as defined by Kaplan (1997)– and the male gaze. To this effect, Ali has created a narrative in which the main focalizer, Nazneen, is a Spivakian subaltern female character, a character who, moreover, is recurrently looking at and scrutinizing western and eastern, dressed and undressed, male and female bodies.

Author Biography

Noemí Pereira, University of Santiago de Compostela
I am a PhD researcher at the University of Santiago de Compostela, where I am currently working on a dissertation centered on the trope of dress in multi-ethnic literature. Graduated in English Philology from the University of A Coruña, I hold an MA in English Studies from the University of Santiago de Compostela, where I am a member of the Research Group "Discourse and Identity". I have published several articles on writers such as Monica Ali, Meera Syal or Hanif Kureishi.
Published
2013-02-16