Presenter(s): Abigail Pore
Title: The Appearance of Love: Violence, Passion, and Gender in Bellefleur
Developed under the guidance of Dr. Sherry Truffin , English
With the rise of sexual assaults coming to light, the relationship between traditional gender roles and violence has increasingly come under scrutiny. Joyce Carol Oates’ gothic novel Bellefleur, published in 1980, highlights this struggle for power following a married couple battling for control of the family and each other. This essay explores how the novel’s characters define love and violence through both traditional and nontraditional roles within the family. Characters of each gender manipulate in the name of love or resort to violence in order to fuel their ambition, and their loss of control leads to disaster.