Desecration of the Body and the Maori Cultural Invasion: A Perspective in Patricia Grace
2Marlyn Lalnunmawii Sailo
1Professor, Department of English, Mizoram University,
2Research Scholar, Department of English, Mizoram University
The subversion of patriarchal literary forms is an important aspect of postcolonial women’s writing. From Patricia Grace’s example, the young Maori writers somewhat present a socially subversive identity for themselves, telling stories of women who challenge social norms and female stereotypes. Their narratives reflect a strong interest in social issues – issues such as the way power is asserted and distributed in society, issues of legitimate authority, and strategies for effective management. The stories presented by Maori women in their stories are often constructed as social or cultural problems rather than as individual, personal problems. Grace also incorporates this important function of the expression, construction and exploration of a distinct identity of Maori/indigenous women in society. By challenging Western feminism’s basis in liberal humanist thinking and its assumptions of a shared marginality of the gendered individual, Grace puts an emphasis on a common experience of oppression. The mutilation of a female body in her fiction projects an unholy and complicitous dynamics of the male, imperialism, power system, sex, education, and erasure of the Indigenous identity.
body, invasion, erasure, Maori, gender.