White Setting & Symbolism

Richard Dyer
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Fire

Fire is represented through several recurring images in "The Jewel in the Crown," as Dyer points out in "There's Nothing I Can Do! Nothing!" These images are to be treated as symbols, and Dyer sees in the circle of fire the suggestion of an end to all the ineffectual 'doing' in the series. The female characters especially are caught up in cycles of impotence and frustration, but their whiteness is itself the cause of the normative boundaries they face. Fire is shown as being destructive and yet, Dyer sees in it the representation of whiteness as pertains to the destruction of empire, the "deliverance from the burdens of historical enterprise" (204).

Rape

Rape is repeatedly mentioned in this book in the context of interracial sexual intercourse, where the rape is more often depicted as being non-white on white, male on female. The recurring depictions of such rape scenes...

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This section contains 1,244 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the White Study Guide
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