The Neverland of Childhood

The Neverland of Childhood

            Childhood, despite, (or perhaps because of) our attachment to it, is something that exists only as an idea. It is always only in constructions, thoughts and memories. No one actually remembers the beginning and end of their childhood as a period. One’s access to childhood, can then be understood as a continuous re-writing of how things were—that is, how one wants to remember them, and not necessarily how they happened. The period of childhood has to have ended (or not happened at all), for this retrospective construction. One needs to get out of it to long for it; the ‘it’ that never was.

The idea that one needs to grow out of being a child, in order to become an adult, is itself problematic. There is a huge assumption about childhood and adulthood being two different spaces that need to be inhabited, one after the other. What we overlook in this process of transitioning from childhood to adulthood, is that these demarcations are only in our heads, assumed by common consent, and adhered to as the norm. It is interesting to think about what happens when these imaginary (and strict) lines of differentiation begin to threaten us. What if childhood and adulthood stop being clear phases that should happen one after the other, but rather flow into each other, finding points of intersection? How does this lead to the frustration of having to be a child and adult at the same time?

It is not uncommon to find ourselves shifting between these two spaces, as though we have no control over it. In simplistic sense of the terms: We feel like a child, but act like an  adult; think like an adult, but desire like a child, and the list goes on. There are these tensions all around us, either pushing us to do something or restraining us from doing it, and sometimes both at once. Whether or not they manifest into evident behaviours to be characterized as that of an adult or a child, it is safe to say that these tensions do play out. One particular field that allows us to think about these ideas much more critically is that of children’s literature. It includes not just the ideas of childhood and adulthood, but children and adults as people in its discourse. Books are written by adults, for children, and hence children’s literature strives on the imbalances arising from these spectrums (that of childhood and adulthood) at all stages: be it creating, producing or consuming it.

In this paper, I will first explain the concept of a ‘child’ and ‘childhood’, and then go on to use children’s literature to explore the ways in which adults and children respond to and through this medium. I will also explore the intersection of the adult-child world, and the tension it causes, commenting on how childhood is an imaginary idea, a sliding signifier that has to slip away, to exist.

Virginia Blum, in Hide and Seek: The Child Between Psychoanalysis and Fiction, remarks, “Psychoanalysis is the story of the adult’s relationship with an internalized, repudiated, but nevertheless ceaselessly desired child – not the actual child the adult has been, but rather the ‘dead’ child mourned by a present-tense self”. She talks about the ‘child’ not as a person, but an idea. The ‘child’ in the adult becomes that which has to die, for the adult to live. The “present- tense” self is what rejects this child in the adult, while yearning for it; to yearn for it. Often this inner child is associated with the Freudian Id.

“Childhood is not an object, any more than the unconscious [is]…The idea that childhood is something separate that can be scrutinised and assessed is the other side of the illusion which makes of childhood something which we have simply ceased to be” says Jacqueline Rose in The Case of Peter Pan, or The Impossibility of Children’s Fiction. Childhood, then, becomes a way of leaving all the irrational, untamed (even dark) desires behind, in order to become mature, sensible beings. That childhood is associated with innocence, but might actually be a hidden place for desires is a thought to hold on to.

A Freudian understanding of the unconscious would tell us that we repress the untamed desires in our childhood, but they find various ways to come back, whether consciously or not. David Rudd, in Reading the Child in Children’s Literature, writes, “…childhood is not only the source of all our later neuroses, but also the place which, once revisited, might be cleansed and renewed”. He suggests that childhood is a process—of going back, erasing, writing and re-writing.

It is interesting to think about childhood as that which can constantly be written and re-written. Children’s literature seems to be a medium which allows for this re-writing quite literally. It does so in two ways: First, in the case of adults who summon the ‘child’ in them in order to write for children and second, adults who read for the ‘child’—in them, or in their life.

What do I mean by summoning one’s child in order to write for children? If we were to go with Freud’s understanding of repressed desires, an adult writing for a child will have to try and access this repressed space in themselves. In thinking like a child, or on behalf of a child, the adult has to lose control over the “rational self”, ultimately drawing back to that space which was supposed to be rejected, left behind, forgotten. The adult is now in a confused space of adulthood, with threatening remnants from childhood.

The writer of children’s literature integrates all of these thoughts, consciously or otherwise. The result is a seemingly fantastical (even silly, to some) work, with shouting undertones of “adult matter”: paedophilia, violence, misogyny, xenophobia, to name a few. Lewis Carroll’s Alice and J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, were both based on real children from their life. They were both accused of having objectionable sexual feelings towards the children. In a poem dedicated to (the real) Alice, Carroll writes: “Still she haunts me, phantomwise”. He points to the lingering (almost ghostly) presence this child has in his life. The use of the word “haunt” is interesting too; it goes back to the psychoanalytic idea of the repressed never going away completely.

Reading children’s literature, too, is a layered process. The target audience is of course children, who internalize these stories without really knowing what they might mean. They become passive receivers, taking in the thoughts of adult writers as the voice of authority. It becomes problematic only when they grow up having internalized ideas that were imposed upon them while they were younger.

I am interested more in the layered readings rather than the passive ones that children are targeted to. By that, I mean adults re-reading children’s literature as active receivers (involved in meaning making). This kind of reading reveals the hidden undertones to the reader now. The rabbit hole that Alice falls into, is no more just a hole, but her entry into adulthood; the wonderland now becomes an unlocked world of desires; Peter is more than just innocent child; he is a sexual being: violent, psychopathic. The same tales tell different stories now.

In Negro and the Psychopathology, Franz Fanon says, “In every society, in every collectivity, exists – must exist – a channel, an outlet through which the forces accumulated in the form of aggression can be released” (p. 464). It is not hard to see the parallels in the way literature works. Through these stories, writers and readers do more than just producing and consuming works of fiction. Literature becomes a way of understanding psyches—individual as well as collective.

Fanon goes on to say, “This is the purpose of games in children’s institutions, of psychodramas in group therapy, and, in a more general way, of illustrated magazines for children -each type of society, of course, requiring its own specific kind of catharsis. The Tarzan stories, the sagas of twelve-year- old explorers, the adventures of Mickey Mouse, and all those “comic books” serve actually as a release for collective aggression” (p.464). He talks particularly about a Negro growing up reading white literature and relating to it. The black child, while reading Western writings, thinks of himself as the white hero, forgetting that he is actually the black savage in the story. This realization comes to him only after he sees how the real world functions. In a way, what he reads as a child, only hits him when he grows up and revisits his childhood.

At this point, we see the lines between the producer (adult) and the consumer (child) of children’s literature blurring. We started off by saying that children’s literature is written by adults, for children, but we can see from above, how that would be a simplistic argument. For Jacqueline Rose, “Children’s fiction is impossible, not in the sense that it cannot be written (that would be nonsense), but in that it hangs on an impossibility, one which it rarely ventures to speak. This is the impossible relation between adult and child […] Children’s fiction sets up a world in which the adult comes first (author, maker, giver) and the child comes after (reader, product, receiver), but where neither of them enter the space in between.” Rose’s argument, however, assumes the adult and child as two different entities, never colliding. But the impossibility that she speaks of, arises from the very fact that both the adult and the child (in the adult) try to enter “the space in between” all the time, constantly failing.

The impossibility is that the adult (author, maker, giver) and child (reader, product, receiver) can never be independent of each other. The author and reader have to come together to produce meaning; the maker and the product cannot exist without the other; the giver and the receiver are in fact both giving and receiving; the adult and the child, both are being one while wanting to separate from the other.

Children’s literature becomes this interesting moment of stutter which gets the adults (as writers or readers) to confront the ‘child’ in them which they had repressed. The ‘child’ comes to signify all those moments which the adult cannot make sense of—the irrational wants, socially inacceptable desires, and all the hidden mess of thoughts which don’t fit in with the personality the adult consciously constructs. Just as the process of writing literature, the idea of childhood too, is re-written, re-read and re-visited. Every peek into the psychological world of childhood adds something, takes away something, and changes things around. The adult sees childhood as a closed chapter, done and dusted. But what it really remains to be, is blank pages one after the other, constantly being written, erased and re-written.

 

Works Cited

Blum, Virginia L. Hide and Seek: The Child between Psychoanalysis and Fiction.          Urbana: U of Illinois, 1995. Print.

Carroll, Lewis, John Tenniel, and Alexander Woollcott. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking-glass and the Hunting of the Snark. New York: Modern Library, n.d. Print.

Rivkin, Julie, and Michael Ryan. Literary Theory: An Anthology. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub., 2004. Print.

Rose, Jacqueline. The Case of Peter Pan, Or, The Impossibility of Children’s Fiction. London: Macmillan, 1984. Print.

Rudd, David. Reading the Child in Children’s Literature: An Heretical Approach. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

 

 

 

Mohabbatein

 

Aur bhi dukh hai zamaane mein mohabbat ke siva

apne kaha toh maine maan liya

dohraati rahi baar baar isi jumle ko

socha ki kabhi na kabhi khud ko sun lungi

 

Magar aankhon ki is nami ko kaise samjhau?

kaise keh du ki tera gham kuch bhi nahi

tera ye rona jaaiz nahi?

 

honge zamaane mein aur dukh

magar mera dukh dukh nahi,

ye kaise maan lu?

 

Mohabbat bhi badi ajeeb hoti hai

ye duniya aur duniyadaari iski samajh se baahar,

aur mohabbat iss resham-o- atlas se anjaan hoti hain

 

Zamaana ibaadat todti reh jaaye,

mohabbat ise jodti.

 

aur main inke sangam ke intezaar mein sarmast.

 

Tabhi toh gham- e- dahar mere ghamo se lad padti hai

kehti hai ki zara nazre idhar bhi toh palat,

dekh in khaak mein lithde, khoon mein nehlaaye jism ko

 

magar mera dil pooche

ki uska tootna, kisi desh ke tootne se kam kaise?

 

Chaahe woh akhbaar ke panno mein chhap kar bat jaaye

Ya uss ek khat mein siyaahi ke daag banker reh jaaye…

 

Dard aakhir dard hota hai.

 

Honge aur bhi dukh zaamane mein mohabbat ke siva,

Magar vasl ki raahat si raahat aur kahan

Ek Aisi Mulaakat

 Zindagi ke iss mod par,

 Socha na tha ek aisi mulaakat hogi,

Aap kisi aur jaahan ke the,

aur hum jee rahe the kahi aur…

Na jaane kab ye faasle dhundla gayi,

Na jaane kab ye iztiraar pighal gayi,

Itni shiddat se jo tujhe samajhne ki koshish ki–

tere har nukte pe maine apna nukta daala,

tere har us harf ki aawaz ko dohraaya,

par tera woh lehja…

Kya kabhi seekh paaungi?

Tujshe guftgu karne ko jee chaahta hai,

tujhe samjhne ki ye chaahat, kaise samjhau?

Mere alfaaz tu na samjhe, aur tere, main.

Ye kaisi na insaafi hai?

Magar kabhi kabhi lagta hai,

Iss khumaar ki kya bhaasha ho sakti hai.

Mere angrezi zakhmo pe marham sa tu,

mere ba-dastoor zindagi me darmi sa tu,

mere raftaar bhare dino mein sukoon sa tu,

Uss khuda ka toh nahi pata, par tujhpe ibaadat kar baithi.

Aakhir tune apni baahe khol hi di,

Iss laapata musaafir ko panaah de di,

Ye sheher ab itna bhi anjaan nahi lagta,

Sochti hu, isme kahi tumhaara haath toh nahi?

Bolo! chaloge mere saath, phirse?

Unhi galiyon me..Usi raste se hokar

Sab jaana pehchaana hai,

magar ab, aur bhi khoobsurat.

Kaha se aaya tujhme ye noor,

Ye saadgi bhari ruhaniyat?

Zara humse bhi toh baat le?

Waise bhi kisi ne kaha tha,

ki baatne se khushiyaan badhti hai.

Khush toh main hamesha se hu.

Magar adhoori bhi thi, ye jaana hai.

Mohobbat na jaane kabse kar baithi,

magar izhaar, izhaar na ho saka.

Aakhir seekh rahi hu tere ye labz.

Kisi din rubaroo hona tu,

Teri zuban hogi, meri aawaaz.

Ek kadam tu chalna, ek main.

Shayad bol saku dil ki ye baatein,

bina gaano se lafz churaaye,

bina kisi aur ko sunaaye,

bina itna ghabraayein,

Tab tak,

Intezaar kar.

 

Lost in Language

Manisha Koppala

Introduction to Literary Theory: ENG- 102-01

Prof. Madhavi Menon

10th December 2015

Lost in Language

The Voices in my head are in an attempt to reach out to the Voices in your head, through the medium of language. This medium I talk of, is highly over rated. So much so, that we’ve failed to see how it has limited us. I am in no way undermining the importance of language. Instead, what I’m asking is for us to be critical about the fact that we’re working within a pre-determined structure, where the basic assumption is that you are able to understand what I’m saying. In that sense, all language is a translation of the Voices in our head, for the benefit of the other. But in the process, we compromise on so much because: maybe the other person won’t understand, for whatever reason, or maybe we can’t say it in a way that does justice to what we want to say, or maybe we ourselves don’t know how or what it is that we want to say. Translating our thoughts into language gets replaced by using language to construct our thoughts in language. What is meant to convey what we think (language), in turn becomes a way for us to think. No matter how well this process of translation is, something is always lost.

Every time we attempt to “find the right word”, we are already talking in substitutes. Before the words come out (in speech or in writing) there is always a pause, a moment of quick choice– of one word over the other, one way of saying/writing it over another. In between what we want to say and what we say, there is so much that is lost and gone. It is ironic that language is said to be the expression of oneself, but language itself becomes a limitation.

Many times I’ve heard people say that they think in a particular language. I would argue that the “thinking language” is just Voices in our head. These Voices don’t know a coherent language. Instead, they are in the state of thought, not yet transformed into what we call language. It is not the unconscious I’m hinting at, where Freud would say our unknown desires lie. The realm of the Voices is very much conscious, except a step further (not literally a movement forward, but something denser). This consciousness is also aware of the helplessness. The helplessness of never fully being able to say what we want to say. Before understanding the Voices in our heads (our inside world), let us look at the language that we let out into the outside world. By language, I mean the words we use to express our thoughts, ideas, or emotions. These are what manifest out of us, in the form of speech or writing.

Ferdinand de Saussure argued that there is no substance in language. He said that it “exists only by virtue of a sort of contract by the members of the community” (Saussure 59). If we collectively decide that a particular thing will be called by a particular name, it eventually becomes that. For this to be possible, nothing else should be called by the same name. “Language is a system of independent terms in which the value of each term results solely from the simultaneous presence of others” (Saussure 66).  Here, the simultaneous presence of the others is vital for the term to have its value. If a horse has to be a horse, nothing else should be a horse. All the other terms around it pour value into the term ‘horse’, by not being ‘horse’ themselves.

Jacques Derrida took Saussure’s ideas further and claimed that units of language are generated by differences. He says that “all elements of language have identity only in so much as they are produced by a network of differences, and each element will itself consist of further differentiations” (Derrida 278). We have seen how the elements are produced by a network of differences (for the horse to be a horse, nothing else can be a horse). Now, let us look into what he means by “each element will itself consist of further differentiations”. It suggests a sort of fragmentation of one element, where the meaning is distributed to all fragments, and when we attempt to bring together all these fragments and attach a whole meaning to it, the other fragments (and their little meanings) are automatically lost.

Let’s go back to the Voices in our heads. In a Derridean sense, the Voices, to an extent, can be seen as traces of what we want to say, the traces that will never fully present themselves, hence leaving our language incomplete. I say “to an extent”, because the Voices are further incomplete in themselves to be traces. To understand the Voices, we need to move into a realm of the unspoken, where everything is messy, jumbled, and unstructured. It is difficult to speak of an unspoken realm, precisely because it will repel any form of understanding we pretend to attach to it. Let us still go ahead and do it, because looking at the nonsensical will help us to make sense of the “sensible”.

Jacques Lacan probes the unconscious to discover the structure of language. He talks of a lost unity that is unattainable. It is similar to the incompleteness I am hinting at. According to him, “something like a bar separates our conscious yearnings from the unconscious. Our desire is motivated by the unconscious and by unconscious residues, but desire must remain in the realm of consciousness. It latches on to objects that can signify the unconscious but only as something inaccessible” (Lacan 447). If we try to picture this: the conscious desire for the unattainable unconscious desires is separated by a bar. We’ve all, in some way or the other, explored the unconscious (though it keeps repelling any kind of understanding) and the conscious. What we haven’t tried exploring is the bar that separates the two. It would be simplistic (and even problematic) to imagine these temporally, and say that there’s the unconscious on one side and the conscious on the other and the bar in between. These are metaphysical elements we are working with, and hence any attempts to pin them down spatially or temporally would be futile. I want to explore the bar, but I am not sure if it can be located. I cannot be sure of whether it’s in the middle of consciousness or unconscious or a step further from consciousness. It is more of a state: a state where we are conscious of the helplessness of being conscious.

Consider this anecdote to illustrate my point better:

When I was in grade 12, my uncle passed away. I wrote a story dealing with the concepts of death and loss, as I had seen them in and around my family. I felt the pain, not directly but when I looked at my aunt, or her children: the family I grew up with. It was hard to write that story, not because I couldn’t find the words, but because every word I used felt like a void. Like I was belittling what had happened. I realized that generating the same emotion through words, was not an easy task. The kid in my story loses his mother, and I wanted to say that his ‘khwaahish’ was to have a familyI ended up translating it as ‘yearning’, because the story was in English, and obviously the readers wouldn’t understand had I thrown a word from another language. But I could never tell anyone how it felt so, so wrong. Of course they mean the same thing. But to me, they said different things.

Khwaahish’ resonated with the Voices in my head; the feeling I attempted to bring about, more than ‘yearning’ did. But for a person who doesn’t understand Urdu, the closest I can get her to understand what I have to say is by translating it into a language she can understand. What’s more interesting is that, in my own head, the word ‘khwaahish’ may not do justice to what I want it to mean. It may be the closest to it, and still not it. At the end of the day, the story will mean different things to different people, depending on how it speaks to their Voices. All I can do is pick and choose words, to translate what I felt into words and hope that the words will translate into similar feelings in the reader.

Why something speaks to the Voices more than something else is out of my understanding. What I do know is this: It’s not just about the words. There is something more to language, which is undermined. There is the ‘letter’ of a letter and then there is the ‘spirit’ of the letter (Lacan). The ‘letter’ exists in language, and the ‘spirit’ or the essence I’m talking about, might lie in the Voices in our head. While words have meanings (that we attach to them) and they fit into boxes of a slang or a dialect, the Voices do not. Voices in one’s head may not react in the same way as the Voices in another’s. Twenty pages of ink on paper might not do to you what one word does. A word might speak a lot to me while it might be just another word for you. Sometimes, what is not said says more than what is.

The novel Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys deals with this realm of the unspoken. It hints towards that which is not said, but eludes to its presence nonetheless. There is a mystifying trail that gives one the impression of leading them somewhere, but that somewhere never arrives. In fact, as the reader goes along, the trails themselves keep shifting, and merging into each other. In the beginning of the book, the protagonist, Antoinette says “the music was gay but the words were sad and her voice often quavered and broke on the high note. ‘Adieu’. Not adieu as we said it, but a dieu, which made more sense after all” (Rhys 7). What does it mean for one ‘adieu’ to make more sense than another ‘adieu? It is precisely this: the function of the word is limited to its expression. What happens after that is what the Voices do. The word ‘adieu’ becomes much more than those five letters. It becomes a signifier for a lot of things that only some people’s Voices will tell them—their memories, their people, their feelings. So what this one word does is to bring about a plethora of Voices, saying different things in different peoples’ minds. Of course, for others, it will be just ‘adieu’, to say goodbye.

“Desire, Hatred, Life, Death came very close in the darkness” (Rhys 58). The bar (which is more like a tunnel) stores these Voices together, like a bunch of elements all mixed up. Hence, the same Voices that generate so much meaning, also hold the power to restrict it. They speak to you, but they also hide themselves from you. They become as indecipherable to you, as they are to someone else. Antoinette’s words, like most of us at some point, carry a sense of incompleteness, of not being understood, not being accepted. She says “I wish I could tell him that out here is not at all like English people think it is. I wish…” (Rhys 16). Those three dots and she stops. She can’t explain what she wishes for. Maybe she doesn’t know what she wishes for, or maybe she does but doesn’t know how to say it. The foreign world outside stands as a limitation to her inside world. The confrontation of her inner world, with the outside world, leaves senselessness lurking all around, neither of the worlds being able to accept or understand the other. “You don’t know anything about me” (Rhys 48), she tells her husband (and probably the readers too). “None of you understand about us” (Rhys 14), she says again and again. So there’s no point, really. We should stop trying and let her be.

The Voices have now moved from presenting a version of meaning, to hiding it or even creating one. This happens when we realize that no amount of words will do justice to what we have to say, so we pour in more and more meaning or decide that it is better to not say it at all. How often we gulp in our words for the fear of giving away too much, or too little or something very different from what we actually mean? Antoinette’s husband asks a question that we all might have asked ourselves: “How old was I when I learned to hide what I felt?” (Rhys 64). I don’t know how old I was. It seems like a process that comes and goes. Sometimes, I express too much, or nothing at all. Both times, I know it’s somehow incomplete.

How then do we deal with language? On one hand, it gives us the basis on which to think about it, and on another, stands as a barrier to a world that cannot be explored. Christophene, another character from Wide Sargasso Sea, opens up a different aspect of language, when she says “Read and write I do not know. Other things I know” (Rhys 104). She says it to refer to her practice of obeah (black magic), but it can be read in multiple ways. Today, it is not necessary for us to know the same language as the other to be able to communicate. The evident differences in languages, cultures, dialects etc have been taken care of. We have better technology and newer ways of communicating with one another. My parents tell me that a few decades ago, once they moved out they would talk to their parents very rarely. They wrote letters that would be read months after they were written (I wonder if they were even relevant after so long). But us? We have moved to instant gratification. We have smart phones and social networking sites to keep in touch, all the time. The ideas of time and space have blurred, connecting people from all over the world. We can instantly let anyone know where we are, what we are doing, or how we feel.

It is at once ridiculous and intriguing that Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the year 2015 was a pictograph—an emoticon (taken from the word emotion and icon) of a smiley face with tears (signifying happy tears). Think about this: the word of the year, is not even a word (*wink face*). It clearly shows a shift in the way we have come to understand language. Body language, emotions, gestures, etc. have all become part of ‘language’. We are taking aspects from other spheres of life that would otherwise not come under language, and mixing them up in our daily communication.

Last week, I had to set an appointment with my professor. So I sent him an e-mail. He asked me whether a particular time suited me and I replied “Yes”. After I shut my laptop, I thought to myself that my reply was rude. In my head, adding a smiley ” 🙂 ” after that message would have been the proper thing to do. These days messages come off as rude when they don’t have smileys; people assume you are sad when you don’t use a lot of exclamations and question marks, and there’s definitely no love without the beating red heart (and all the other poor colorful hearts that don’t beat, for some reason).

To go back to our analysis, this shift can be seen as a way to speak to the Voices better. The Voices that don’t care about any particular language. You can simply impose more meaning through that one extra exclamation mark, or a smiley face, to let the other person know what you exactly mean. The assumption of knowing a particular language to be able to communicate with another is therefore challenged. Arguably, everyone, in every part of the world, can understand what a smiling face or a beating heart stands for. Or at least attempt to do so much more easily than picking up a new language.

What is happening here is that we, in our communication, have started attempting to communicate in terms of the Voices in our heads rather than the words in our mouths. That is to say, that a person who doesn’t know that a particular curve of lips is called a ‘smile’ or a ‘muskuraahat’ or ‘navvu’ or anything else in any other language, will still, to an extent, know what a smile “means”. Antoinette’s husband remarks about Christophene: “I can’t say I like her language” and Antoinette answers: “It doesn’t mean anything” (Rhys 53). It really doesn’t, because maybe Christophene doesn’t want to access this world of letters. Maybe she is happy in her world of the ‘spirit’ of the letter.

All these attempts to pour more and more meaning, only reinforce the idea that language inherently has no meaning. It is a blank slate for us to add whatever we like, generation after generation, building our own language. I wonder if there will ever be a point when we are able to express everything that we want to say, feel or think. I wonder if it is necessary to do so. Here are Jean Rhys’ words (through another character) while we struggle with these questions: “As for my confused impressions they will never be written. There are blanks in my mind that cannot be filled” (Rhys 46).

Works Cited

Derrida, Jacques. “Difference” Literary Theory: An Anthology. Ed. Julie Rivkin, Michael

Ryan. Singapore: Blackwell, 2004. 278-299. Print.

Lacan, Jacques. “The Instance of the Letter In the Unconscious or Reason since Freud”

Literary Theory: An Anthology. Ed. Julie Rivkin, Michael Ryan. Singapore: Blackwell, 2004. 447-461. Print.

Rhys, Jean. Wide Sargasso Sea. London: Penguin, 1977. Print.

Saussure, Ferdinand de. “Course in General Linguistics” Literary Theory: An Anthology. Ed.

Julie Rivkin, Michael Ryan. Singapore: Blackwell, 2004. 59-71. Print.