chapter  3
11 Pages

Non-Monogamy and Fiction

ByESTHER SAXEY

Literary criticism since the 1960s has pointed out a series of elephants in the room: ways in which fi ction interacts with cultural norms, and with the social organization of power. Texts have been analysed in the light of postcolonialism and class, and perhaps most relevant to questions of non-monogamy, of gender and of sexuality. An initial critical observation is often that canonical authors and fi ctional protagonists tend to refl ect cultural norms (being white, male and middle class1). Further criticism has investigated how narrative is shaped and structured by social power. Underpinning these explorations is the suspicion that fi ction offers models for self-conception-characters with which to identify, plots by which we can understand our own stories.