It has been a short while since I have last blogged. Nevertheless, my reading remains constant still, no less.
There are times when I think of what Austen and her other writing contemporaries would say if she read Woolf, Joyce or even Winterson; I am sure they would be appalled at their indecent exposure of their follies and vulgarity.
Anyways, in this chapter (Exodus), Winterson continues her background story as a missionary child who is overzealous about the Bible, the Church but she has yet to mention God. She makes an interesting allegory to Mary and Elizabeth (from the Gospels) in her attempt to make something meaningful out of her endless drought of receiving academic recognition. To be religious, was to be abnormal. Unfortunately, her attempts to “make [her]self as ordinary as possible” pay little dividends and thus, explains the reason for the chapter title: Exodus.
“I had told all the others about the horrors of the demon and the fate of the damned. I had illustrated it by almost strangling Susan Hunt, but that was an accident…”
Exodus was the book in which Moses was put in front of the Pharoah and told him to “Let my people go!”. Winterson perhaps portrays herself as the little ‘modern-day’ Moses; the pseudo-Hebrews are no less the children who are too young to comprehend her (mis)intentions. In an ironic twist, later in the novel, Jeanette is banished from her ‘cosy nest’ of overzealous Pentecostal evangelists.
The child Winterson tries to make sense of her surroundings and the society she lives in by opening up her imagination- ironic. On one hand, her imagination conforms to Biblical themes. On the other hand, she is at a loss as to who she is. Like the Emperor Tetrahedron, she “[has] so many faces”.
Interestingly, the persona does not experience or personify her emotions. But rather, uses events to illustrate her point of view and her surroundings. The narrative is driven by events that run along the tangent of her religious overzealousness.
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