Shopping for an “I”: Zola’s The Ladies’ Paradiseand the Spectacle of Identity

  • Eleanor Salotto


As we move to France and the latter part of the nineteenth century, images of identity become buried even more under the cover of technology and capitalistic progress. That is, the self turns into a spectacle of dispersal. As we have seen in Dickens’s Our Mutual Friend, the self is a buried text of images that resurfaces in changed forms in the novel through the dynamics of the multiplot and through buried first person narration. While Dickens’s novel focuses on drowning by death through representation and the consequent transforming of the self into an image, Zola advances the change in novelistic representation by conceiving of the self as pure spectacle.


Department Store Fairy Tale Happy Ending Store Owner Feminine Identity 


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© Eleanor Salotto 2006

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  • Eleanor Salotto

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