Sophie causes physical abuse to herself so as to get away from the testing when she becomes conscious that her mother will not stop until a time comes when she fails. Martine’s sister, Atie, also experiences a life devoid of male camaraderie and short periods of depression as a consequence of testing and family commitment. The overriding culture’s challenging fascination with female purity is best observed by the twosome of Martine and Atie. Growing up, the sisters’ cleanliness was cautiously watched over by the embarrassing practice of testing. Still, Martine faced rape at age sixteen, while Atie, deceived by her fiancé, never married. None of them achieved the adulthood for which she was prepared, symptomatic of at first that this is the foundation of their despondency. But the eventual force of their stories discloses a disconcerting cohesion between ‘pure’ and fallen women. The sisters’ twin calamities support the toll of a life span of doubling, of living in a setting which keeps the woman sore in her body.
The faction of female purity focuses on a fascination with the woman’s body, as it is prominent to the category of sacred object. It is not the woman’s own anymore, but as an alternative a representative vessel of reputation, whose usefulness and reason are decided by others. In this circumstance, the woman is estranged from her body, spellbound by the weight of her very own flesh (Levine, 2007). Martine’s rape gives way to insanity, bad dreams, figment of the imagination and voices, as violent behavior done to her body is brought about by her body’s repeated hostility against her soul. The particulars of Martine’s suicide propose an effort to obliterate the body of the rapist, which has become impossible to tell apart from her own. Consequently, while Martine’s familiarity represents a more thespian version of the incarceration that her female generation feels, it is a dissimilarity only of scale. Atie’s falling back on alcohol corresponds to a similar flee, an endeavor to counteract the physicality of her disastrous womanhood and the broader corporeal trap of being wedged in Dame Marie. The outstanding effects of the virginity faction are able to be seen in Sophie’s incapability to have sex without doubling, and her own complicatedness with her body in the novel’s concluding sections. It is Sophie’s cognizant attempts to take in hand this split, to bring together her body and soul by means of therapy, description and love, which demonstrate a power to move further than the catastrophe of her mother’s and aunt’s experience (Knowles, p.1).
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