Female Embodiment: Narrating Gender/Narrating Body in Mieko Kawakami’s Breasts and Eggs

  • M. Sakkthi Shalini
  • Marie Josephine Aruna


Body narratives by women writers hold an important place in contemporary cultural studies. This paper seeks to analyse Kawakami’s Breasts and Eggs within the ambit of culture, gender and narration. Kawakami as a Japanese writer narrates the intimate organs of the female body in order to interpret woman’s mind and soul. Writing serves as an act of ventilation for woman’s thoughts. The novel explores contemporary womanhood in Japan by bringing into focus three different protagonists namely Natsuko Natsume, Makiko and Midoriko. Body shaming and stigmatization are the reasons for woman’s trauma. Social and cultural constructs create an illusion that a woman should be fair with an appealing body without any blemishes in order to attract men. Thus the novel raises questions about woman being a mere reproductive machine. In Cultural Studies body is examined as a site of contestation. It is culture that constructs bodily identity and behavioral code. Culture and society oppress women and alienate them. This study unearths the condition of East Asian women who suffer due to poverty, misogyny, cultural and social constraints as portrayed in Kawakami’s Breasts and Eggs and how a woman’s body resists and conforms to this construction.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

M. Sakkthi Shalini

At present, M. Sakkthi Shalini is pursuing PhD under the supervision of Dr. Marie Josephine Aruna at Kanchi Mamunivar Government Institute for Post Graduate Studies and Research in Puducherry, India. She has published six research articles in peer- reviewed journals. She has completed her Master of Philosophy in English Literature. Her area of interest lies in cultural Studies.

Marie Josephine Aruna

Marie Josephine Aruna, M.A., M.PHIL., Ph.D., teaches English literature at Kanchi Mamunivar Govt. Institute for Post Graduate Studies and Research (Autonomous), Govt. of Puducherry, Puducherry. Her area of specialization is feminist literary theory and postmodern feminist/comparative literature. She has to her credit a number of research articles published in peer reviewed journals and books. She is a life member of Indian Association for Women’s Studies, and member, Indian Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies and Indian Association for American Studies. She has authored a book titled-Patriarchal Myths in Postmodern Feminist Fiction, and edited a book titled South Asian Literature in English: New and Emerging Trends. She evinces keen interest in the study of the interconnectedness between literature and the environment.

How to Cite
Shalini, M. S., and M. Aruna. “Female Embodiment: Narrating Gender/Narrating Body in Mieko Kawakami’s Breasts and Eggs”. Contemporary Literary Review India, Vol. 9, no. 2, May 2022, pp. 19-35, https://www.literaryjournal.in/index.php/clri/article/view/1094.
Research Papers