Visual Pleasure in Kawabata Yasunari's Novella House of the Sleeping Beauties
Keywords:Kawabata Yasunari, female body, visual pleasure, women objectification, male gaze
This research discussed visual pleasure in Kawabata Yasunari’s novella “House of the Sleeping Beauties”. Women, when subject to the male gaze, had often been the objects of sexual and visual pleasure. The novella described the nyotaimori practice, in which sushi was served on the nude body of a woman for the object of male visual and sexual pleasure. This research sought to dissect and explore visual pleasure in literary work and its central positioning. Using Laura Mulvey’s theory of male gaze and visual pleasure, and feminist literary studies, it employed content analysis as a method to uncover the phrases and paragraphs depicting visual pleasure in the novella. Firstly, this research finds that in practicing visual enjoyment, men use women as the objects of pleasure and fantasy. Secondly, men position women, their female bodies, and sexuality as markers of castration.
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