Silence In Audre Lorde's The Cancer Journals

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Audre Lorde’s autobiography, The Cancer Journals, is a moving and often maddening depiction of her breast cancer survival story, specifically as it relates to societal expectations of her body’s appearance after she endure a mastectomy. Continuing the theme revealed in several of the semester’s readings, Lorde draws upon her own personal experience to guide us down the path of how a breast prosthesis was necessary to make her, and those around her, feel normal as a one-breasted woman was too different. Although some women may feel more comfortable with an outward appearance that conforms to societal norms, others feel that projecting a false image with breast prosthesis only serves to hide differences and further contributes to the oppression of the female gender by discouraging individuality and therefore encouraging a woman’s language of silence.…show more content…
I find this contradiction of silence and protection to have a unique similarity to the mother portrayed in Kingston’s The Woman Warrior, who’s name alone, Brave Orchid, is also both metaphor and contradiction (77). Brave Orchid finds protection in her heritage, but is silenced by the culture’s history of devaluing women, though she herself was extremely intelligent. Kingston reveals, not only the silencing, but the invisibility of women in the Chinese culture, though women find safety in conforming to their societal

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