“Zami: A New Spelling of My Name” a Book by Audre Lorde Essay (Critical Writing)

July 16, 2021 by Essay Writer

Updated: May 28th, 2020

The book Zami: A New Spelling of My Name is an autobiographical narration by Audre Lorde encompasses different approaches to presenting information including fiction, myth, and biography combined. In this respect, I believe it reveals unusual and unconventional representations of female development and professional growth. Lorde has persuaded me that the current society is largely dependent on stereotypical norms and visions, especially when it comes to gender roles consideration. While I was reviewing the first seven chapters, particular attention was paid to the way the author exposes her attitude to family relations, as well as to the circumstances under which those relations were built. Personal analysis and evaluation of other dimensions has led me the assumption that family has a potent impact on the development of the self and female creativity.

The author’s unconventional approach to representing female development provides me with clear understanding of how society and upbringing can influence the development of the self. The new image of female creativity as a black lesbian embraces the connection with “a familial and historical past, community, strength, woman-bonding, rootedness in the world, an ethic of care, and responsibility” (DiBernard 196). My personal experience proves that social and family environment has a significant influence on shaping personal outlooks on society. In this respect, I agree with Lorde’s ideas concerning family: “I have felt the age-old triangle of mother father and child, with the “I” at its eternal core, elongate and flatten into the elegantly strong triad of grandmother, mother, and daughter…” (7). Judging from the assumptions, deep engagement with social, religious, and domestic dimensions allows to understand the demands of the given community.

I understand the reasons why the poet’s attains much importance to the role that family relations play in shaping unique relations within a community. From the first pages of the biography, I can notice Lorde’s obsessions with exploring her concerns with gender, sexuality, and femininity. The narration, therefore, presents the female development through the process of coming of age (Giroux 286). With regard to the above, the pressure of gender discrimination imposed on females, lesbians, and black people has lead to the rise of different movements (Kemp 22).

Do similar concepts matter when current pressure on society occurs? I have found the answer in Lorde’s sayings disclosing that “…women who survived the absence of their sea-faring men easily, because they come to love each other, past the men’s returning” (Lorde 14). Interpreting this, a serious attempt should be made to re-evaluate the traditional outlook on society and create a new one presented with a new ‘spelling’.

In conclusion, different unconventional outlooks are presented concerning the main principles of female development. Therefore, I believe that Lorde’s book accurately reflects the current modes of social perception because female development is closely associated with social and political circumstances. My attention has been specifically attracted by the first chapter that focuses on the way Lorde analyzes the influence of outside relations on the emergence of feminist movements and development of the attitude to gender and race issues. More importantly, the writer’s attempt to a new idea of the society where women acquire the right to build their own reality has inspired me to re-evaluate my perception of societal norms. In fact, the current society is now more disposed to encourage the development of an alternative image of female creativity.

Works Cited

DiBernard, Barbara. Zami: A Portrait of an Artist as a Black Lesbian. US: The Kenyon Review. 1991. Print.

Giroux, Christopher. “Eroding and Eliding, Breaking and Building: Reworking The Landscape in Audre Lorde’s ZAMI”. Explicator 67.4 (2009): 285. Print.

Kemp, Yakini B. “Writing Power: Identity Complexities And The Exotic Erotic In Audre Lorde’s Writing.” Studies In The Literary Imagination 37.2 (2004): 21. Print.

Lorde, Audre. Zami: A New Spelling of My Name – A Biomythography. Australia: The Crossing Press. 2010. Print.




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