The Commodification of Women in a Comparative Study of Pinter's Betrayal and Stoppard's The Coast of Utopia
The purpose of the present study is to discuss Girard’s imitative desire in Pinter’s Betrayal, and Stoppard’s The Coast of Utopia. René Noël Théophile Girard (1923-2015), a French literary critic and philosopher, has elaborated on the idea of imitative desire. He discusses that our desires are not autonomous, but we borrow our desires from others. Since human beings think their drives do belong to them, the object of desire or the desired love becomes an issue of rivalry among the rivals. If such a dissention is not resolved, chaos will result. To solve it, an object, namely a human being is to be sacrificed to restore the unity of a nation. Since women characters are marginalized in patriarchal societies, they are mostly sacrificed in the selected plays. Sometimes, double mediation occurs for those who imitate others’ desires. That is, their desires are copied by others at the same time. In other words, man sacrifices out of his imitative desire to engender power and attraction. Therefore, the male characters in the selected plays covet objects/other human beings belonging to others. This act might cost other people’s lives and metamorphosing female characters to mere objects prone to sacrifice and commodification.