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2017

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Arts and Humanities

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When Choice Is An Illusion: Suppression Of Women In William Styron's "Holocaust" Novel, William Sewell Jan 2017

When Choice Is An Illusion: Suppression Of Women In William Styron's "Holocaust" Novel, William Sewell

Faculty Research & Publications

This article examines how Styron shapes Sophie's Choice through Southern Gothic literary techniques. In particular, we will explore the development of Sophie, who throughout the story served as the Gothic archetype of the "damsel in distress." She is a heroine who lacks agency,a character with "a tendency to faint and a need to be rescued– frequently." Ultimately, the harsh suppression of female identity entrenched in Gothic literature contributes to the "unimaginable pain" that forces female characters like Sophie to make their "choice." Finally, we will examine how Sophie, controlled throughout her life, really does not have a real ...