Jean Genet 's Les Bonnes Essay

1420 Words Dec 15th, 2016 6 Pages
Jean Genet’s Les Bonnes, in english: The Maids, is a timeless piece about servitude, fantasy and murder. A man in and out of jail, Genet wrote his first poem and novel behind bars, eventually escaping a life sentence thanks to a petition to the french president backed by prominent names such as John Cocteau, Pablo Picasso and Jean Paul Sartre[], who wrote an invaluable and insightful introduction to Genet’s plays Les Bonnes and Deathwatch which this essay uses to analyse Les Bonnes. It is not fair to instantaneously say that simply because there is an all female cast that the text lends itself to a feminist reading, obversely, one cannot propose that because we are only presented with a single gender onstage that the playwright is necessarily making a commentary on that gender. Instead, this essay will aim to look at both viewpoints and critique the text using theorists that wrote about one of those two critical theories in order to determine which of the two the text on it’s own lends itself more towards.

One way this essay will attempt to carry out a feminist reading of LB is through Genet’s subversion to culturally associated stereotypes of women presented in the text. Through texts such as Laura Cox’s paper attempting a feminist reappraisal of LB[] as well Maggie O’Neill’s book on crime culture[], one can clearly see how female killers are at a disconnect from their gender norm. By breaking the gender norms and becoming “at odds with feminine passivity” the female…

Related Documents