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Heart in the Right Place: Thatcherism and Love in Jeanette Winterson's The Passion

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Version 2 2023-11-16, 16:19
Version 1 2022-07-15, 13:29
journal contribution
posted on 2023-11-16, 16:19 authored by Emma Parker

 This essay argues that Jeanette Winterson’s The Passion (1987) employs the past to examine the present and explores the role of love in Thatcherism. Drawing on Sara Ahmed’s The Cultural Politics of Emotion (2004), it proposes that Winterson opposes the passions that defined the decade—Thatcherite love of nation and money—with feminist and queer reconceptions of love based on connection, community, and otherness. By showing how the novel’s critique of Thatcherism intersects with critiques of heteropatriarchy, the essay challenges the view that Winterson’s fiction privileges matters of the heart over social and political issues. Anticipating Ahmed’s analysis, Winterson demonstrates that, while love often sustains inequality and injustice, love reconceived has the potential to reshape the world—a theme that becomes central to her later work. 

History

Author affiliation

Department of English, University of Leicester

Version

  • VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Contemporary Women's Writing

Volume

16

Issue

3

Pagination

305-323

Publisher

Oxford University Press (OUP)

issn

1754-1476

Acceptance date

2022-06-22

Copyright date

2022

Available date

2023-11-16

Language

en

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