Summary of Main Points from the article: Reading from the Drop: Poetics of Identification and Yeats’s “Leda and the Swan” – Janet Neigh Janet identifies with Leda and her experience of sexist victimization allowing her to explore how Leda might symbolize the female-identified reader trying to establish agency from a text that in its representation of rape undermines her agency as a woman. The sonnet seems to explore the intersection of feminist and postcolonial power structures, and yet the politics advanced by the poem remain ambivalent due to its violence and its open-ended conclusion Through the character of Leda, one can interpret Yeats negotiating his political investments in Western civilization as an Irish colonial subject symbolically raped by England The poem then can be read both as a political statement about Ireland’s precarious (post) colonial situation in the 1920s and a statement about sexual politics, suggesting the inseparability of these two forms of domination. The notion of Identification as a form of internalization that incorporates inside what is outside the self. Fuss argues that because identification reveals the intersections between power and desire it offers ways to re-imagine “how subjects act upon one another” in non-dominating way “sudden blow” - extends the feeling of Leda’s victimization to the reader Poem as an allegory for colonial violence
Conveys a resistance to colonial occupation; even after the violence, Leda (Ireland) manages to stay on her feet (“wings beating” – swan is still flying, lifts Leda off the ground – contrasted to her “staggering” after the “sudden blow” Identifies with both Leda and the Swan
Swan: hybridity of the swan, as both masculine and feminine as well as animal and divine, coerces readers to identify with the figure Perpetuated victimization of Leda forces the reader to identify with Leda The effect of this double identification engenders an emotional recognition of my complicity with the...
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