Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

The Mark of the Beast as Trace of History. Animalistic Tattoos in Michel Faber’s The Crimson Petal and the White (2002) and Kamila Shamsie’ Burnt Shadows (2009).

Abstract : This article brings together two contemporary novels, Michel Faber’s The Crimson Petal and the White (2002) and Kamila Shamsie’s Burnt Shadows (2009). While the two novels deal with different topics, they share interesting common motifs. First, both engage with history. Secondly, both these novels highlight the presence of animal-related designs on their heroines’ skin. In Faber’s novel, Sugar, a prostitute, has marks on her skin which are reminiscent of tiger stripes. At the beginning of Kamila Shamsie’s Burnt Shadows, the heroine, Hiroko, is in Nagasaki with her German lover when the nuclear bomb strikes the area. As she recovers from the shock, the heroine, who was wearing a kimono with patterns representing cranes on it, finds herself branded with the very bird motifs onto her back. One may wonder what the branding of such designs stands for. Are such traces a way to suggest the violent impact of history on people, especially on these female characters? What differences may be drawn when it comes to assessing the effect of the “trace” in each case? The animal tattoos in both these novels may be seen as traces of history; yet the latter do not impact the heroines in similar ways.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadata

Cited literature [28 references]  Display  Hide  Download

https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-02567824
Contributor : Maude Kerichard Héas <>
Submitted on : Monday, September 28, 2020 - 9:55:10 AM
Last modification on : Friday, March 26, 2021 - 3:19:54 AM

File

numero_4_the-mark-of-the-beast...
Publisher files allowed on an open archive

Licence


Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Identifiers

  • HAL Id : halshs-02567824, version 1

Citation

Jaine Chemmachery Michaux. The Mark of the Beast as Trace of History. Animalistic Tattoos in Michel Faber’s The Crimson Petal and the White (2002) and Kamila Shamsie’ Burnt Shadows (2009).. La Peaulogie - Revue de sciences sociales et humaines sur les peaux, La Peaulogie 2020, La littérature dans la peau : tatouages et imaginaires., pp.71-95. ⟨halshs-02567824⟩

Share

Metrics

Record views

22

Files downloads

53