The Smallest Woman In The World Analysis

The Power of Imperialism, Race and Gender
“The smallest Woman in the world” is a short story telling a tale of a French explorer looking for the smallest pygmy in the world. Upon finding what he believes is the smallest woman in the world, the story’s concept of exploration transitions from innocent curiosity to exploitation. Through Clarice Lispector’s short story, “The Smallest Woman in the World”, the reader will be able to identify the story’s allegory of superior and inferior and will see the depiction of social issues that stem from a postcolonial and racial scope, in deconstruction, that reveal feminist undertones due to the lack of intersectionality between the characters.
Imperialism is this idea that one country could extend its
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Feminism intersects with postcolonial and race studies when different genders are involved. Had Pretre tried finding the smallest man in the world, the dynamics between the characters would have been different because there would not be the male gaze, othering of a female character and following the patriarchy. Little Flower’s presence in the story attacks the issues with imperialism that cause inequality amongst genders.
When reading “The Smallest Woman in the World”, the reader should keep in mind what is assumed in the story by narrator and characters. Compulsory heterosexuality is assumed in Lispector’s story when the reader assumes that Little Flower is straight. There is no real indication of her sexuality, aside from her pregnancy. Because of compulsory heterosexuality, it excludes any idea that Little Flower’s pregnancy was not
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The male gaze, explained by Mulvey, puts “The Smallest Woman in the World” in a heterosexual male perspective. The male gaze then creates social constructs that portrays the woman as unimportant, unless they’re presence pleases a man; that a woman does not exist without the presence of a man. This objectification of women causes women to objectify each other through a male perspective. Pretre practices the male gaze when he interacts with Little Flower. Pretre adopts the active male role and Little Flower is the passive female role that only exists within the text to satisfy Pretre’s desire to find the smallest pygmy in the

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