Abstract Fifty shades of Gray is no literary masterpiece, nor does it hide some life changing meaning between its pages, although this could be debatable. My interest was aroused when I started reading various comments on the book and how “hideous” it is. I am a person who usually enjoys literature and art, that is trashed by others, who tries to find a meaning behind a simple dot on a painting, subsequently when all this uproar was caused I Just had to read the book. When I realized it was a British novel, I ecocide to use it for my WIDE.
Of course this was even more challenging since this book has not been previously analyzed and also is far from anything introduced in an academic environment. I have been accused of overlaying and attributing meaning behind UN-meaningful material. I object to this, since I believe that Just because the writer did not mean to deliberately say certain things, it does not mean that his subconscious does not actually write them for him. I must agree with the critics on one thing though, that the writing is poor with a lot of useless repetition ND very elementary use of the language.
Nevertheless it touches upon some of my favorite themes, which are female sexuality, power, and politics. 50 Shades of Gray is the first amongst the trilogy of novels written by British writer, E. L. James. It is a story about a young literature student, Anastasia Steele, and her encounter with one of the richest bachelors, Christian Gray. Their encounter turns into a passionate love affair, which finds inexperienced Anastasia becoming a submissive in Grey dominant masochism. The trilogy has brought a lot of controversy around the matters of female sexuality.
It has created heated discussions whilst being accused of promoting sexual violence and harsh treatment to women like being stalked, slapped, whipped, and caned. This book has been shredded by various commentators, and ultimately has caused a global uproar. The New York Times and The Telegraph are only two amongst many that refer to how Fifty shades of Grey has been accused of being “all printed porn” or “mummy porn”, but hidden between those multiple orgasms, one can read Fraud’s idea of pleasure.
It shows how early experiences affect the development of people, alongside the subject of pleasure and pain, reward and punishment”, knowing one’s self, and pushing boundaries along with the ultimate power of enchantment. Reward and punishment are the basic essentials Christian Grey lives by. He engages only in sexual intercourse involving B. D. S. M. For that purpose he needs to provide all of his sexual partners with an AND, a contract requesting the full consent of his partners informing them of all details in their agreement.
It mentions soft and hard limits, detailed sexual activities but mostly it highlights the roles of the dominant and the submissive round discipline, reward, and punishment. Even though such a contract does not hold any legal value, E. L. James shows how powerful it is, and the psychology of the submissive, that once she signs this AND, she is consciously consenting to be punished for misbehaving. It is one thing to consent to violent treatment during intense sexual intercourse, where the presence of endorphins is high, and the sense of logic is low, and completely different to consent to violent treatment as a whole.
When in a pure logical state of reading, comprehending and assessing a contract in a snakelike manner, signing away your free will, along with your freedom of speech, while fully consenting to be abused at any time the dominant feels necessary, has a profound effect in the psychology of the submissive. James portrays the equivalence of life as sexuality when Anastasia Steele is proposed to accept a contract that dominates her outside the bedroom, explicitly telling her what, where, and how to eat, dress, act, talk, work, and basically how to live.
It is set up for failure as it will place the submissive in the position of being punished often, and when she obeys he will be rewarded through sexual release. Anastasia cherishes the pain from the spanking as it makes her deeply appreciate the rare, tender moments with her partner. Even though she often cries and feels violated after a spanking, if this violent gesture and further infliction of pain are performed during sex, she enjoys the release it gives her, and she longs for more. According to the pleasure principle Freud suggests that: “It is the pleasure of returning to her original state which gives a quality to living. Freud explains this in the philosophy of opposites, with Eros and Thanks. He determined that all human instincts fall under two categories; the life instinct referred to as Eros, and the death instinct referred to as Thanks. Eros is also known as the sexual instinct, which amongst other things, deals with pleasure, reproduction, and pain avoidance. In the death instinct, or Thanks, Freud finds that humans hold an unconscious desire to die. In his book “Beyond the Pleasure Principle” he mentions that “the goal of all life is death. If the goal of all life is death, thus the destination of Eros is Thanks, then one could assume that the goal of sex s the state of an orgasm, also known as a little death. This could explain why Anastasia cherishes the violence so much, as the opposite of pain is pleasure thus there can be no pleasure without pain. According to Freud, the clinical manifestation of Thanks is masochism “hitherto regarded as secondary to sadism… And suggested that there could be a primary masochism, a self-injuring tendency which would be an indication of the death instinct. The death instinct also brings the unconscious desire to re-enact traumatizing events, which is exactly what Christian Grey does. He sakes his traumatizing experience of being beaten, burned, and abandoned as a child, and re-enacts it in his sexual practices of B. D. S. M. He finally realizes this re- enacting in his sessions with his psychologist, and ultimately admits it to Anastasia. Christian Grey holds the ultimate power of enchantment. He holds all the stereotypical click©s for the perfect man.
He speaks fluent French, owns property on hot spot cities, plays the piano, is a pilot, owns his own plane and yachts, is extremely athletic, unbelievably good looking, tall, he is the best lover on the planet, with a very rage pen’s, a billionaire, and all that at the age of 26. As E. L. James describes him, this sex God uses the weakest moments in Anastasia to recite his powerful spell. During her, “intense,” “body-shattering,” “delicious,” Molten,” “all-consuming,” “turbulent,” “agonizing” and “exhausting” orgasms, Christian chants “you are mine” over and over while staring in her eyes.
He repeats this phrase more than 20 times during the trilogy, and at times described with the intensity of mill. ARE. MINE,” followed by the phrase “never forget that! ALL mine and only mine. ” These phrases mound as if he is chanting a spell with the intention of possessing. While under this spell Anastasia starts discovering this dark and forbidden place inside her which is more that once described as hell, and unimaginable pain, which she admits to being attracted to.
During her “lucid” moments though, she finds this new reality a dark and painful path, but as soon as he chants his bewitching words to her she is back under his spell. Anastasia is introduced to the novel as a virgin, both metaphorically and physically. Besides her actual lack of sexual activity, Anastasia is also oblivious to any hypes of acts, materials, and terminology regarding B. D. S. M. The whole first part of the trilogy finds Anastasia testing her boundaries, how much she can take before she breaks.
When she is first introduced to the contract, she is so shocked that she literally needs to look up the terms, she soon realizes that she could never engage in such activities, but mostly she struggled with the idea of pain infliction. She keeps wondering what pleasure could possibly derive from pain; up until her first experience that leaves her even more confused. Without signing the AND, Christian knishes his submissive for rolling her eyes, by spanking her. The burning sensation and stinging of the spanking leave her crying in her room, feeling extremely violated.
What confuses further is that during the spanking she had the right to stop him, but she did not. This scenario is repeated given that the spanking, this time is accompanied by sex. Anastasia catches herself longing for his hand to descend on her skin, and it is at this point in time, that she realizes that the pain is not as sharp as she had feared. It occurs to her that what she is so frightened of is not the actual main, but the possibility that she enjoys it. Thus the beginning of long “limit-testing” journey for Anastasia, as she keeps pushing her boundaries further every time.
Besides Anastasia, there is another person testing their boundaries, Christian Grey. Christian has always engaged in sexual relationships, which have been clearly defined by the AND. It included times and days of the intercourse, positioning of the submissive, when the dominant entered the room and the only verbal communication was based on commands by “Sir. ” Christian has no friends, for he espies human relations, and this is Justified by E. L James as his issues of abandonment. He was a son of a prostitute that abused substances, and died of overdose.
It was days before her pimp discovered the body that had young Christian curled around it; this same pimp had abused, burned and beaten Christian viciously. His sexual preferences and his way of life are directly linked with his need to expose his power, in order to protect his powerless and vulnerable side. For all of the above reasons, Christian retains close relationships with his adoptive family, which saved IM, and nobody else. He finds himself having to explain things to Anastasia, which he never had to, having to negotiate soft and hard limits, but mostly having to guide a virgin through romantic sexual intercourse, into B.
D. S. M. All of these gestures are “firsts” for him, constantly testing his limits, so much so, that he finds himself unbalanced, and Just as confused as Anastasia. This reallocates of trial and error brings both of them at a point of falling in love. Anastasia eagerly agrees with Fraud’s opposites, as she craves the violence and role playing in their sexual life, while this tatter is often interrupted by what Christian refers to as sex,” simply love making.
James shows how Christian ultimately falls in his own spell, and becomes enchanted by Anastasia, but also analyses how quickly the opposites switch sides, as eventually all the power of Dominant Christian Grey lies in the hands of Anastasia steal. Anastasia values the pleasure that derives from pain, and enjoys being punished to the point she provokes it. Somewhere between the light, where Anastasia was, and the dark where Christian lived, Anastasia and Christian discover themselves alongside the fifty shades of grey.