Stokes 2008 Violence

Title Information

Author: Katherine May Stokes

Title: Sexual Violence and the Authority to Speak

Subtitle: The Representation of Rape in Three Contemporary Novels

Thesis: M.A. Thesis, McGill University

Year: August 2008

Pages: 114pp.

Language: English

Keywords: 20th Century | Indian History, Rwandan History, South African History | Representations: Literature / J.M. Coetzee, Gil Courtemanche, Bapsi Sidhwa

Full Text

Link: eScholarship@McGill (Free Access)

Link: Library and Archives Canada (Free Access)

Additional Information

Abstract: »Gil Courtemanche's A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali, Bapsi Sidhwa's Cracking India and J.M. Coetzee's Disgrace depict periods of intense violence: the Rwandan genocide, the Partition of India, and post-apartheid South Africa. While these authors bring rape to the foreground as they explore massive social change and systemic brutality, Courtemanche, Sidhwa and Coetzee differ significantly in their treatment of sexual violence. Courtemanche decries physical violence but fails to acknowledge more subtle forms of abuse, constraining the voice of the raped female character. Examining Partition from a child's perspective, Sidhwa exposes some of the injustices faced by a survivor of rape, yet this survivor never talks about her experience. Coetzee's protagonist suppresses the voice of the woman he abuses, but insists that his daughter speak up when she is assaulted: her silence complicates the idea that speech about rape is necessarily progressive. An examination of these texts' treatment of speech and silence surrounding rape will test the possibilities for pro-survivor narratives of sexual violence within a rape culture.« (Source: Thesis)


  Abstract (p. 2)
  Résumé (p. 3)
  Acknowledgements (p. 4)
  Introduction (p. 6)
  Chapter One. I Have Tried to Speak For You: Neo-Colonialism and the Love Story in A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali (p. 20)
  Chapter Two. What's a Fallen Woman? Questioning Rape Culture in Cracking India (p. 49)
  Chapter Three. History Speaking Through Them: Rape and Not-Quite Rape in Disgrace (p. 73)
  Conclusion (p. 101)
  Bibliography (p. 108)

Wikipedia: J.M. Coetzee: Disgrace (novel); Gil Courtemanche: A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali; Bapsi Sidhwa: Cracking India

Added: November 16, 2013 – Last updated: October 11, 2014