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Temple's Rape in William Faulkner’s "Sanctuary": Wilful Victim or Powerful Victimizer?



In this paper, I intend to show that Temple Drake, a well-bred girl who is abducted and raped, does not participate in her own debasement - as many critics argue, since her metamorphosis from innocence to promiscuity is the outcome of patriarchal manipulation. Temple’s physical and psychological abuse and her transformation from “a blank-faced baby” to a “doll-faced slut” reverberate in feminist arguments about masculine “subjectivism” constructed upon female “objectification.” Either with her father and brothers or with Popeye, Temple Drake is depicted as a puppet controlled in a way that reflects her objectification by a masculine-biased culture. Nevertheless, the doll-faced Temple still shows signs of power in her weakest moments, turning into a stereotypical picture of the new woman who wordlessly claims agency and emasculates the patriarch despite repression and sexual exploitation.


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