The “Criminal Other” and the “Exorcism of Evil” in Fay Weldon’s The Life and Loves of a She-Devil

Dilek Çalışkan


Fay Weldon in The Life and Loves of a She Devil uses crime as a consequence of madness in order to show the condition of modern individual living in the capitalist patriarchal society to break the long debated concept of the ‘silent Other’ who is ‘different.’ Madness as a metaphor stands for destructiveness, greed and vulnerability. It is the mass psychology that shapes the individual’s behavior. The collective unconscious prevents the individual to be powerful and to protest, because others behave similarly fearing gossip and scandal. From this viewpoint The Life and Loves of a She-Devil will be analyzed  as it presents female characters whose madness lead to crime (visible & invisible).The aim of this study is to deal with the concept of madness and crime together with the concepts of feminism in the light of the anti-psychiatrist R.D. Laing’s view of madness and try to deconstruct the concepts of “madness,” “beauty, “ “success,” “love,” “silence,” “violence,” “crime” and “victim” in the patriarchal capitalist society and thereby to “Exorcise the Evil “ residing in the society by making the “ Criminal Other” visible.  


Madness, Crime, Feminism, R.D. Laing, The Criminal Other.

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