By Leni Marshall
Deconstructs fiction and nonfiction to additional understandings of ways getting older and previous age are created.
In vigorous, available prose, this publication expands the achieve and intensity of age reports. A evaluate of age stories tools in concept, literature, and perform leads readers to work out how their very own intersectional identities form their ideals approximately age, getting older, and previous age. This research asks readers to interrogate the “texts” of menopause, self-help books on getting older, and foundational age reviews works. as well as the research of those nonfiction texts, the poetry and prose of Doris Lessing, Lucille Clifton, and Louise Erdrich function automobiles for exploring how age family paintings, together with how they invoke readers into kinships of reciprocal care as othermothers, otherdaughters, and otherelders. The literary chapters learn how talented storytellers supply enactments, portrayals, and metaphorical makes use of of age to create transformative capability.
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Additional info for Age Becomes Us: Bodies and Gender in Time
The more time an individual has spent receiving cultural messages, the greater the social expectations that the person will accept and live by them as a socially constituted, discursively produced subject. For a subject to be a subject, it must always already be socially constituted. Resistance can happen only from a social position, and only at the risk of losing that social position. The question then becomes how this social constitution works with aged bodies. “From this perspective, physical decline is not merely a threat to personal autonomy; it represents moral failure” (Jablonski 192).
For example, Doris Lessing’s The Diaries of a Good Neighbour, a text targeted at a Caucasian American audience, suggests the benefits of creating a personal, individual connection between readers and their understandings of aging and old age. Chapter 4 discusses Lessing’s novelistic dyad, which she crafted with the goal of provoking change in readers’ conceptions of aging and old age. In Diaries, Lessing effectively confronted and debunked many of the standard Western negative and divisive stereotypes about of old age.
Negotiating with texts that stress the patholog y of aging, women simultaneously grapple with issues of self-identity and social identity. No wonder that “women in mid-life are afraid to know—and fiercely resist acknowledging—that menopause can affect them” (Sheehy 34, emphasis in the original). People who are skeptical about the value of such a major change, or who think it improbable or unseemly, will find the process more of a challenge, and the dissolution of the old self more of a loss. With the loss of a relatively stable and reasonably cohesive internal self-image, a new self-image is established.