Anorexia Nervosa: Resisting Gender And Sexual Politics In Han Kang’s The Vegetarian

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Dr. Shuchi Agrawal , Ms. Gauri Mahalwar


Despite the fact that the word anorexia is never used in the novel The Vegetarian, the writer, Han Kang analyzes the disease and its implications with a level of complexity. Anorexia is defined as acceptance to the rebellion against culturally manufactured norms of femininity, which Han Kang shows as dynamic throughout the book. Han Kang’s textual anorexia, her attempt to “write the body,” reveals that the problems of essentialism, idealism and biologism that beset theoretical Ecriture feminine are not invariably produced in fictional practice. In the present paper, the researcher intends to explore how anorexia is used to explore problems of gender, language, sexual politics, and social dislocation. The present paper will also explore how anorexia nervosa is used to examine women's techniques for establishing alternate languages, weighing not only the benefits but also the risks. The protagonist, Yeong-hye’s attempt to escape repressive commercial society and patriarchal hegemony are evident in her refusal to eat meat and eventually any food at all. She strongly expresses her assertion and defiance against the ingrained social systems through her unwillingness to eat, dislike of girdles, and projected metamorphosis into a plant.

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