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Lawrence, Jennifer (2013) SADE-OMIZING SEXUALITY: DECONSTRUCTING THE GENDER BINARY THROUGH THE SADIAN SEXUAL PREDATOR. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The Marquis de Sade became famous, or infamous depending on one’s perspective, for the ferocious depictions of sexual predation which are found throughout his literary works, and consequently, the character of the sexual predator is indispensable to understanding the author’s philosophical standpoint. For Sade, the laws of nature determine the sex of the individual, but they also require him or her to satisfy a set of physical needs which reject the masculine/feminine binary as often as they embrace it. This blurring of the lines between masculinity and femininity is thus characteristic of the Sadian sexual predator who must constantly seek satisfaction for his needs regardless of social and religious constraints on his behavior and on the sex of his victim. When examining the myriad variations on this character in Sade’s work, it becomes clear that he has transferred the natural law of “survival of the fittest” from a purely physical to a highly intellectual concept and, in so doing, has created a predator who uses mental as well as physical strength to dominate his victim. I, therefore, propose that masculinity mixes fluidly with femininity when examined through the lens of the predator and that by investigating the hierarchy of predator versus prey, the mutability of gender at both extremes of the predatory relationship, and the description of specific acts of predation, it is possible to deconstruct the gender differences through the strict adherence to the laws of nature observed by Sade’s sexual predators.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairReeser, Toddreeser@pitt.eduREESER
Committee MemberMecchia, Giuseppinamecchia@pitt.eduMECCHIA
Committee MemberSavoia, Francescasavoia@pitt.eduSAVOIA
Committee MemberMuenzer, Clarkmuenzer@pitt.eduMUENZER
Date: 9 July 2013
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 22 March 2013
Approval Date: 9 July 2013
Submission Date: 9 April 2013
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 218
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > French
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sade, sex, gender, predator
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2013 18:05
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:11


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