Sunday, April 6, 2008

Dr. Hoffman's Infernal Desire Machines

To start out with, I want to say that I completely agree with Rob's post. To say that Carter is misogynistic or racist seems absurd to me. This is because of the nature of the book and it's tone. This book, as we talked about last Monday, is a type of pastiche that imitates certain forms to mock or undermine them. In the case of the cannibals, Carter takes one of the worst stereotypes possible and goes over the top with it. This is not done to liken Africans to cannibals, rather it is done in the manner it is to show the absurdity of the belief that all Africans were cannibals. Another example of Carter using stereotypes to undermine them is in the case of the Acrobats of Desire that Robe wrote about. Clearly, Carter does not aim to imply that all gymnasts are gay or that all gay people have sexual tendancies that would lead them to rape, we would probably not be reading this book if Dr. Brewer suspected this to be the case. Lets be honest, we would probably not read this book if that were the case, even if it were assigned. While there are examples of stereotypes found in older literature, the reasons for these stereotypes being used are to undermine them rather than to reinforce them. Carter chooses a very interesting setting and plot to convey this to the reader, but sometimes isn't it better to not be force fed an ideal, but rather to figure it out on our own?

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