Body Parts

Brian D. Hardy

Jackson is quite witty, giving the reader interesting and often funny little tid-bits and stories about her various body parts. In her section on the nose, Jackson, examines how perceptions of the body can change with varying perspective:

There was no longer one definitive face, there were thousands of partial and accidental ones...what was cheek and what was nose wasn't clear

She refers to her body as a "cabinet of curiousities." Each body part had its own little story to tell.

She tells us humorously how she would make little figures out of the snots she collected and saved in a box. As an artist of the body, Jackson explains how her various paintings of people changed over the years as her way of looking at the body changed. For example, we look at the body different before puberty than after puberty. Hands, as she tells us, do a very good job of describing a person:

They betray the grudging humanity of their owners...There were as many hands as sparrows and I could hardly catalog them all.

Jackson is even poetic at times:

When I am kissing someone and our teeth bump together, jarring us both, I think: our skeletons touched.

My Body and Patchwork Girl as Deconstruction

Her chaotic arrangement of the body questions and undermines its boundaries. The idea of self becomes fragmented. Patchwork Girl as a post-modern version of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, explores the creation of self. As William Mitchell pointed out, it is the Infobahn that will force us to reconfigure our boundaries. The idea of body will be redefined as a conglomerate of various e-mail addresses, avatars, and ungendered logins. John Crews writes on the idea of woman as cybernetic organism.

The female body becomes rather interesting as a form of social commentary when one begins to look at industries such as advertising and perhaps, even pornography. It is usually in the movies that we see the legs of a woman being zoomed in on, or the breasts. Jackson, with her deconstruction makes us acutely aware of this fact. I believe it is only feminist theory that can reconfigure our gendered conceptions of society.

Discussion of Patchwork
Girl Overview Screen
for Website Body and Self Theory