Obesity, Contemporary Gothic, and the Rhetoric of Excess in Push

Chatterjee, Srirupa and Ghosal, Nilanjana (2021) Obesity, Contemporary Gothic, and the Rhetoric of Excess in Push. Journal of Language, Literature and Culture. pp. 1-17. ISSN 2051-2856

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This article reads how obesity in Sapphire’s Push (1996) becomes a composite cultural metaphor for Gothic excesses. By critically analysing Claireece Precious Jones–the adolescent overweight African American protagonist of Push–with the help of contemporary Gothic theories of horror and excess this article makes a case for interpreting her fat body as a repository of cultural hatred, anxieties, and violence characterising the intersectional oppressions of appearance, gender, class, and race. Further, with the help of critical race theories, fat studies scholarship, and social studies research on poor black populations it reads how Precious’ obesity is not merely a physical condition but also a symbol of wasteful excesses that is vilified and abused, both sexually and otherwise, by her own family as well as the society at large. Appropriately, it suggests that Precious’ obesity coupled with her mental derangement becomes symptomatic of a Gothicized world which belies promises of progressivism and harbours uncontrollably violent forces against disenfranchised fat black women. This article, accordingly, focuses on Precious’s overweight body as a site and symptom of Gothic excesses that provides a vocabulary for examining the horrific rationalities celebrated by contemporary America.

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IITH Creators:
IITH CreatorsORCiD
Chatterjee, Srirupahttp://orcid.org/0000-0002-7978-4324
Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Black women, Gothic, obesity, poverty, Push
Subjects: Arts > Liberal arts
Divisions: Department of Liberal Arts
Depositing User: . LibTrainee 2021
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2021 06:36
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2021 06:36
URI: http://raiith.iith.ac.in/id/eprint/7668
Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.1080/20512856.2021.1882025
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