Unbecoming Behavior: Insurgent Violent-Erotic Fantasies in Kate Zambereno's Green Girl and Other Contemporary Works

Eggleston, Giuliana, English - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Booth, Alison, English - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia

This thesis attempts to bring into further relief Kate Zambreno's concept of the “green girl,” as introduced in her 2011 fiction novel Green Girl. In addition to Zambreno’s work, other supporting contemporary works of fiction such as Jennifer Egan's Look at Me, Bernadine Evaristo's Girl, Woman, Other, and Michaela Coel’s HBO show I May Destroy You are explored, in conjunction with critical feminist theory by authors such as Kate Manne, Judith Butler, Jia Tolentino, Moya Bailey, and Laura Mulvey. Together, these works of fiction and theory delineate how the female ideal in a Euro-American patriarchal society is unsustainable for the “green girl,” ultimately leading her to erotically fantasize about the violent destruction of her physical being in order to free herself from a limiting existence under an unrelenting societal gaze. The work explores the masculine gaze, the policing function of misogyny, “auto-Thanatos-theory,” dark narcissism, and the productive discursive space of life after death in fiction.

MA (Master of Arts)
Green Girl , Violent-Erotic Fantasies , Kate Zambreno
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