"Traitorous Bodies": Cartesian Dualism in Romance Novels by Susan Johnson and E.L. James
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While there have been numerous theoretical approaches to romance novels, a Cartesian analysis is seemingly absent among the current scholarship. Applying René Descartes’s theory of mind/body dualism to the heroines in Susan Johnson’s Seized by Love and E.L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey reveals not only a separation between the heroines’ minds and bodies, but proves that both heroines are depicted as distinctly body. As such, serious complications arise for the female characters, including the acceptance of sexual violence and submission to the patriarchy.