Fashioning the self in Jean Rhys’s voyage in the dark and good morning, midnight

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Koç, Nesrin
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Çankaya Üniversitesi
Jean Rhys held a deep passion for fashion and stylish attire. Her perspective on fashion, as an instrument of adopting “a second skin” finds expression in her focus on fashioning the self, a recurring motif in Rhys’s oeuvre. The physical difficulty Rhys’s female characters, whose lives bear strong similarities to her own, have in obtaining fashionable clothes represents the broader struggles they go through as the objects of the patriarchal and colonial gaze, in their voyages through the physical and metaphorical darkness of urban spaces like Paris and London in the early 1900s. Focusing on two of these women, Anna of Voyage in the Dark and Sasha in Good Morning, Midnight, for whom fashionable clothing appears to be the only way of navigating the modern society which marginalizes them, this study explores Rhys’s multilayered portrayal of fashion as a reflection of the near impossibility of attaining a cohesive sense of self, mirroring the characters’ struggles in fashioning their inner and outer selves.
Fashion , Self , Jean Rhys , Clothing , Identity
Koç, N. (2024). Fashioning the Self in Jean Rhys’s Voyage in the Dark and Good Morning, Midnight. Cankaya University Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 18(1), 66-77.