I heteronormativitetens bojor : En tematisk komparativ analys av Karin Boyes Kris och Louise Boije af Gennäs Stjärnor utan svindel
This essay isabout how lesbian love is being portrayed in two Swedish novels. The material consists of Karin Boye’s Crisis (1934) and Louise Boije af Gennäs’ Stars without Vertigo (1996). By using theories of heteronormativity, discourse analysis and a historical perspective, the essay aims to explain the similarities and differences in the way that lesbian love is being portrayed in these books. The results are organised through themes by using the methods close reading and comparative method.
The heteronormative discourse is ruled by norms and assumptions about normality in relation to sexuality and gender. The protagonists in both Crisis and Stars without Vertigo are in different ways being confronted with the heteronormative discourse in the Swedish society, Christianity and amongst their family and friends. In Crisis, the main character,Malin struggles to handle her non-heterosexual feelings in relation to her faith, and not to expose her emotions. In 1934 homosexuality was considered a crime in Sweden and at the same time homosexuality was looked upon as a disease, which controls how Malin looks upon her non-heterosexual feelings and keeps her from telling anyone about them. For Sophie, the main character in Stars without Vertigo the society’s values and norms are present, but the social climate for homosexuals is different in comparison to Crisis. The heteronormative discourse concerns her private life, her choice in a spouse/partner and her ability to start a family, since the homosexual community was being considered as something different from the universal heterosexuality and therefore should not have the same rights.
Although the novels where published more than 60 years apart there are some similarities in what kind of words Malin and Sophie are using about non-heterosexuality. Both women choose not to name their non-heterosexuality because any type of word or category is limiting. Thus both Malin and Sophie create their own identity through their sexuality.
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