"One cleans, the other doesn't,"Author is a member of our board of experts
This article is quite interesting and evocative in terms of possible connections between the theory she is developing concerning social status and cleaning and Birth of a Nation. Unfortunately, to know more we really have to get a hold of the chapter or chapters in which she actually applies this theory to Birth. She employs a psychoanalytic method, applying it to advertisting, avant garde film, and Freud's narratives (Dora and Wolfman).
"gendered, class and racial others usually clean for their social 'betters.'"
"gender emerges as a cleaning strategy, a representational system that masks or obfuscates the significance of other social differences."
"Thus, other differences– class, race, ethnicity, sexuality – are often subsumed within the more cleanly (constructed as) universal dichotomy of gender difference."
The theories she presents here would be too complex to present to an undergraduate audience within the context of a relatively short scholarly voice-over. However, we do have a copy of her manuscript and can see what she says about Birth specifically. It should be quite interesting and appropriate to a discussion of Lydia's problematic social position.