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Splattered InkPostfeminist Gothic Fiction and Gendered Violence$
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Sarah E. Whitney

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040467

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040467.001.0001

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Hedging Her Bets

Hedging Her Bets

Jodi Picoult’s Textured Ambivalence

(p.138) 6 Hedging Her Bets
Splattered Ink

Sarah E. Whitney

University of Illinois Press

This chapter demonstrates how Jodi Picoult's novels employ hedging strategies that blunt and contain the traumas perpetrated upon her characters. By suffusing traumatic narratives in other stories and other narrators, she often eschews direct confrontations with acts of misogyny. Wrapping her main narratives about women and children suffering from sexual assault and trauma within layers of secondary plots, metaphors, and multiple perspectives, Picoult demonstrates a postfeminist investment in the ideals of balance, indeterminacy, and neutrality. Such rhetorical moves create distance from “angry” feminism. Furthermore, Jodi Picoult's digressions represent one response to the ongoing danger of living in a world drenched in sexualized violence.

Keywords:   Jodi Picoult, traumatic narratives, sexual violence, narrative digressions, sexualized violence, narrative ambivalence, hedging strategies

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