Spunk Essay

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In the following excerpt, Traub asserts that "Spunk" offers a new perspective on Shakespeare's Hamlet. Traub argues that, similar to Lena, Gertrude exercises personal prerogative when finding herself defined as "an object of property."

. . . African-American women writers' return to Shakespearian drama is hardly surprising, for what more obviously status-studded example of Anglo- European patriarchal culture exists to "signify" or "trope" upon? I will first briefly discuss the way in which Hurston's short story "Spunk" rewrites, by means of a few words, Gertrude's marriage to Hamlet's uncle, transforming an action that in Hamlet's mind is equated with adultery and incest into the personal prerogative of any woman who finds herself defined as an object of property. I will then turn in considerably more detail to Gloria Naylor's complex, ambivalent relationship to Shakespeare, and her attempt in Mama Day to voice African-American subjectives within the problematic described and enacted by...

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This section contains 692 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Spunk Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
Spunk from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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