The Body of a Lover: an Analysis of Marguerite Duras' "The Lover"

Topics: Trousers, Human body, Marguerite Duras Pages: 2 (695 words) Published: November 5, 2012
The Body of a Lover: An Analysis of Marguerite Duras’ The Lover Sexuality is evident in every form of life. Plants, animals, humans all actively engage in sexual practices; however, it is only mankind that offers various forms and perspectives of sex and its subcategories. Much focus of sex is its effects on the body and its senses. The focus of the human body, its sensuality and also the harm that is inflicted upon it, is one of Marguerite Duras’ themes throughout her work The Lover. The paradoxical representation of sensuality and harm occurring to the human body simultaneously in Duras’ The Lover is depicted through the clothing of the main character. The first marker of this simultaneous mixture of sensuality and harm to the body is evident in the narrator’s preferred self-image: “I’m wearing a dress of real silk, but it’s threadbare, almost transparent. It used to belong to my mother…It’s the sepia color real silk takes on with wear…I’m wearing a leather belt with it, perhaps a belt belonging to one of my brothers” (Duras, 3, 4, 11). Duras creates this photographic image of a young “fifteen and a half” (20) dressed in immodest clothing that invites intrigue and suggestion of a feminine body reaching maturity. Sensuality is expressed in the wearing of her mother’s dress. The “transparency” of the “sepia” colored “real silk” dress is extremely sensual in the visual manner (11). The dress itself is teasing the eye due to its color, which acts as a visual connection to the skin beneath the fabric, and also the fabric itself: silk. Silk, a luxury fabric, is smooth, pleasing and overall tactilely desirable. The young girl’s dress is silky and the color of “sepia” (11) contributes to the idea of sensuality by making both the dress and the girl pleasing to see and to touch. The “transparency” (11) adds to the sensuality of both dress and character by allowing the eye to possibly see through the flesh colored fabric to the character’s “thin, undersized...
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