Graduation Year

2015

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Gender and Women's Studies

Reader 1

Mary Ann Davis

Reader 2

Kimberly Drake

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2015 Lucy E. Blumberg

Abstract

The Marquis de Sade has a notorious reputation amongst academics as a continuous figure of fictional and cultural studies. His characters, stories, and writings carry weight in modern interpretations of gender dynamics, pornographic aesthetics, and the alternative fantastical. This thesis will explore the Marquis de Sade’s most famous characters, Justine and Juliette, as means to define the Marquis’ significance to 21st Century Western culture production, particularly in Lars Von Trier’s Antichrist and E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey. Exploring the female protagonists (or main characters) of the separate works, the correlations of subjugation, constructed morality, and the constructs of femininity become important markers for understanding the Marquis’ dissemination of his philosophies on gender, violence, and indulgent sexuality that leads to conversations on pornographic aesthetics in our modern period. Despite being dead for nearly 200 years, the Marquis de Sade’s relevance parades on in ideologies regarding female identity and sexual desires of the extreme.

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