The question of Hortense's own subjectivity and its relationship to dollhood
(or more accurately, the status of the automaton) is raised in her climactic confrontation with Bucket, when she stands with "her arms composedly crossed, but with something in her dark cheek beating like a clock" (830).
Some specific topics include Shaker spirit possession, female education in an antebellum Southern family, missionary education of Native American girls, and the politics of dollhood
in 19th century America.
But in her pictures the dolls never quite transcend their dollhood
, whereas the puppets in her film do: They appear to move in the real world and to be ruled by real emotions.
Though she chucked Nashville dollhood
for her bluegrass roots several albums ago, Vincent has raised some eyebrows in traditionalist circles with her belly-baring, leather-clad look on this disc's cover.
My essay looks at scenes of dollhood
in the works of three contemporary female authors within this context: Julia Alvarez's How the Garcia Girls Got Their Accents, Sandra Cisneros' "Barbie-Q," and the now-famous doll dismemberment scene from Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye.