Religious symbols, narratives, and language perform prominent tasks in both A Portrait of the Specialist as a Young Man and Oranges Are Not the Only Fruits. In the Symbol, religious signs and vocabulary permeate the consciousness of Stephen, in a way that his religious and physical experiences are inextricably entwined. While Stephen attempts to deny and distance him self away from the dominant discourses given by the state and religion, his artistic feeling is in the end entrenched in the language of faith. In Oranges, through the retelling of biblical myths and fairytale testimonies, Jeanette liberates herself through the hold of narratives that entrap her within a system of patriarchy, fundamentalist faith and heterosexuality. In doing therefore , Jeanette unwraps the text into a fluidity of interpretations, resulting in a destabilization in the narratives of fairytales and biblical texts. As such, she has prevailed as a great artist exactly where Stephen has yet to achieve success, in her use of narratives and terminology to subvert dominant discourses such as religious beliefs.
Inside the Portrait, the religious and sacred organizations are “reshuffled” (Akoi 301) with the seglar and physical associations. Spiritual techniques and physicality becomes accordingly intertwined, since seen in the usage of sacred language to describe his tryst while using prostitute. His sexual waking up is also a great awakening of his spiritual desires, it is a ‘holy encounter’ (106), that permits him to transcend profanity, ‘before which usually everything else was idle and alien’ (105). He venerates the prostitute with a religious intensity, whose ‘frank uplifted eyes’, techniques him to ‘Tears of joy and relief’, this individual ‘[surrenders] himself body and mind’ ‘conscious of absolutely nothing in the world’ (107-108). Alternatively, virgin Mary is described sensually, ‘the glories of Mary held his heart and soul captive¦ his soul, reentering her dwelling shyly¦ the savior by itself of a lewd kiss’ (112). This intertwining of the physical and spiritual culminates in the vocation because an artist-priest, ‘a priest of everlasting imagination, transmuting the daily bread of experience into the radiant body system of everliving life’ (240). Here, you observe that Stephen’s conception of aesthetics remains construed in the language of priesthood and religion. To do so , he confers a divine and sacred legitimacy to the specialist, who retains the power to materialize and capture intangible experiences of desire and excitement.
In contrast, the ‘chill and order’ of Catholic priesthood ‘repelled him’ (174), a great anathema to Stephen’s desire and desiring excitement, to ‘learn his own perception apart from others or to understand wisdom more himself roaming the snares of the world’ (175). He accepts his ‘destiny¦ being elusive of social or religious order’, seeking to escape the ‘hold¦ of order and obedience’ that ‘threatened to end pertaining to ever¦ his freedom’ (175). Yet, despite the high-minded artistic ambitions of Sophie, his spiritual influences continue to be deeply-rooted, because warned by his prelado, ‘once a priest, often a priest’ (173) and by Cranly, that his ‘mind is supersaturated with the religious beliefs in which [he] says [he] disbelieves’ (261). Nevertheless, this individual proudly assumes ‘the term of the fabulous artificer’ (183), ‘a living thing, fresh and leaping and beautiful, impalpable, imperishable’ (184). His cry joyfully ascribes sacredness to the physical reality, ‘Heavenly God! ‘, ‘in a great outburst of profane joy’ (186). His romanticisation of nature and beauty can be driven by the intensity of Catholic resurrection and transcendence of the spirit. ‘By blending the Catholic and Loving versions in the soul, Sophie essentially makes his personal soul, functioning as the Catholic the almighty who produces the spirit and the Loving poet who finds his soul in the life of experience’ (Howell 61).
Stephen becomes a creator exactly like Daedalus, who have crafts wings for him self and his child Icarus to escape their imprisonment. This motif of traveling pervades his consciousness, and Stephen wants to ‘fly by simply those nets’ ‘of nationality, language, religion’ (220). Below, Joyce gives us a double meaning of ‘fly by’, as Stephen’s aspirations to travel past, over and beyond the social constrictions, overlook the second meaning of ‘fly by’, with the that means of him inevitably making use of the material of his ‘nationality, language, religion’. Also, when Stephen embraces the namesake of the superb artificer, he notably will not deny the spiritual associations of his first identity, St Stephen, the 1st martyr who had been stoned to death intended for the defense of his faith. Additionally , the myth of Daedalus also warns against the hubris of Icarus, who falls to his loss of life upon soaring too close to the sun. Finally, while Sophie is positive in his calling as a great artist, his high aspirations carry the outcome of alienation and enduring for his art, in parallel with Icarus and St Sophie, thus going out of us essential of his ability to ‘fly by’ the nets of ‘nationality, dialect, religion’, devoid of borrowing and relying on them to ‘fly’.
In A melon, religious and fairytale narratives are appropriated and rewritten, to deliberately disrupt the binary heterosexual and patriarchal reading that is certainly imposed by the traditional and fixed reading of those narratives. Furthermore, the autobiographical intertextuality of Winterson’s Grapefruits allows an integration with the fantasy in Oranges as a story about Jeanette, with the reality of the Winterson’s own life. It can be through her process of adding stories and reality, that Winterson collapses the ‘walls’ of narratives to style a more smooth narrative that accommodates her own personal narrative, ultimately enabling her to ‘fly by’ the narratives which typically oppress her identity.
Winterson appropriates the faith narrative to construct her identity. Her experimentation with story and story begins in her childhood, where the girl rewrites the Daniel getting eaten by lions. The Fuzzy-Felt show is one of the first instances in Jeanette’s years as a child where biblical narratives are shown to be open to interpretation, a ‘place in which slippage takes place so that Jeanette can see that meaning is in flux, story revision can be done, and that the expert to restructure the story and its particular embedded electrical power relations is with the storyteller’ (Reisman 14). When faced with Pastor Finch, she attempts to disguise the story simply by saying that the lady was depicting Jonah and the whales, ‘but they avoid do whales in Unclear Felt’ (13). The interchangeability of signifiers as recommended by Jeanette in her retelling, shows a danger to the authoritative and exclusivist reading with the church. Reacting, Pastor Finch seeks to ‘put this right’ (13), suggesting that ‘in his view, there may be only one accurate version of a story’ (Reisman 14). Through the retelling of the scene that may be possible through ‘the moderate and Jeanette’s imagination’ (Reisman 14), Jeanette discovers the possibilities of meaning and the solidity of the unique interpretation given by the chapel, comfortable in the static signifiers for the sake of upholding absolute fact. People like Jeanette’s mom and Pastor Finch cling on to assurance and purchase that a solitary authoritative browsing of a text message provides, quickly insisting prove correct meaning of the textual content, while rejecting the validity of all additional interpretations. Jeanette argues this hanging on into a single authoritative reading establishes ‘order’ and ‘security’, but it really is one that ‘doesn’t exist’ and ‘cannot exist’ (96).
In the beginning, Jeanette efforts to overcome her like for Melanie with her love from the Lord, yet she is struggling to convey her intended meaning to the priest. She in the beginning sees ‘Melanie as a surprise from the Lord’, that ‘it would be ungrateful not to enjoy her’ (104). However , she actually is unable to communicate the mutually inclusive mother nature of her love for the Lord and Melanie, as the guía constantly fermetures her with loaded queries. He first asks her ‘Do you deny you love this woman with a take pleasure in reserved for gentleman and wife? ‘ (105), to which she replies, ‘No, yes, I mean of course I like her. ‘ (105) What appears superficially as a distress resulting from incoherence and sense of guilt, is better discussed as a relaxed, collected and rational make an attempt to explain her homosexual wish to the chapel. Her first ‘no’ in answer is a negated denial that she really loves Melanie with the intensity and quality of any romantic love, like that with the heterosexual romantic endeavors. She then follows which has a ‘yes’, planning to explain that her like is a distinct kind of romantic love, and that it is certainly not a love that is certainly ‘reserved for man and wife’ (105). While serious in her attempt to confirm and affirm her lgbt romance, it’s the very development of the question that is up to date by the easy morality of religious narrative, which in turn causes her succinct, pithy inarticulateness. Spiritual language is actually unable to sufficiently accommodate her position. In the end, it is the unquestioning deference towards the authority of the biblical story that helps bring about this unique, binary pregnancy of loving love, and denies the validity of Jeanette’s protection.
Through the appropriation of religious narratives and symbols, Jeanette is ultimately able to transcend the constrictive biblical narratives. Like surfaces that ‘protect’ and ‘limit’, Jeanette acknowledges the comfort and security proposed by these narratives, but as well feels that ‘It is in the nature of walls that they can should fall. That wall surfaces should fall season is the result of coming your own trumpet’ (113). ‘At one time or another there will be a decision: you and also the wall¦ The City of Dropped Chances abounds with those who hand picked the wall’ (114). Here, Jeanette appropriates the storyline of the struggle of Jericho. Like the prophet Joshua, Jeanette puts trust in the power of the trumpet, a sounding horn, to bring down and conquer these kinds of walls. Nevertheless , unlike Joshua who had received the prophesy from Goodness, she is a prophet who have ‘has simply no book’ and ‘are filled with sounds which in turn not always established into meaning’ (164). As opposed, she is a prophet who cries out because the girl with ‘troubled by simply demons’ (164), which are ‘Not quite’ ‘evil’, ‘just diverse, and difficult’ (109). Although her cathedral views demons are inherently bad, also to be cleansed away and ‘driven out’ (109), Jeanette portrays the demon favorably, as an integral inner voice, ‘here to keep [her] in one piece’ (109).
Jeanette accepts the unstable fluidity of all narratives and decides only to listen to her internal voice, in fact it is the strength of her personality which allows her to resist the simple comfort and reliability of these narratives, while knowingly appropriating materials and signs of these narratives to construct her own. She confidently presumes the position with the ‘prophet’, just like Stephen, whom abandons the order of ‘priesthood’ to become a priest artist. Yet, though both personas reject the dominant discourses of religion, only Jeanette is definitely realistic in recognizing the seductive power of narratives. As a result, she constructs her very own narrative, which in turn successfully appropriates and destabilizes the biblical narrative, although Stephen’s aspire to ‘fly’ on his own may show futile.
Winterson, Jeanette. Oranges Are certainly not the Only Fruits. New York: Grove Press, 85. Print.
Joyce, Adam. A Symbol of the Specialist as a Young Man. London, uk: Penguin Ebooks, 1992. Printing.
They would. Howell, Edward. Aesthetics/Religion/Nationalism: Placing the Spirit of Wayne Joyce. Philadelphia: Villanova College or university, 2010. Print.
Akoi, Mohammed. “Stephen and the Strategy of Image switching in Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Ulysses. ” Terminology in India, vol. 13, no . 10, 2013, pp. 294-306.
Reisman, Mara. “Integrating Imagination and Truth in Jeanette Winterson’s Grapefruits Are Not the sole Fruit. inches Rocky Hill Review of Terminology and Materials, vol. sixty-five, no . you, 2011, pp. 11-35.