The Wild Feminism in Alexandra Kleeman's "Intimations"

It is evident from the first page that this event is conjuring up separation anxiety, isolation, and fear of attention. The man she is sitting with she does not know, and yet he is seated next to her parents on the far side of the table. Her isolation is juxtaposed by the cramped seating arrangement and the overabundance of food on the table. She questions where she is and why only to find out later that she is in her own home, something that she learned from the dreamscape. This ties to the sense of anxiety and entrapment because something that she should feel comfortable and familiar with is confusing and deadly. On multiple occasions, she could not escape or complete a relatively easy action. If you are familiar with anxiety dreams, they play like a series of unfortunate events (Lemony Snicket excluded). A lock with never turns, a door locked from the outside, unable to wave sympathetically, unable to leave the table, these all draw on the dream trope of the unfulfilled action. The scream which never comes out or the Sisyphus rotation of being stuck somewhere despite escaping.

Moving further out and looking at the big picture, there is even a deeper sense of female entrapment and anxiety toward relationships. The main character’s anxieties come at a time when mysterious men claim they have had or are having a relationship with her, be it a lover, boyfriend, fiancé, etc. They fight with each other over her, yet it is up to her to choose. Then comes another sense of the inability to escape. The man with flowers entraps her on multiple occasions, oppressing her will to decide on her own. Not only does he stop her from waving, but he decides it is time for her life to end. It seems like the character who is having this dreamscape fears that her life may be taken over by what other men think. They decide what is best for her and she fears they will have control over her until she is dead. She cannot escape without the aid of a man, nor can she leave from the front door. This is the same front door which she opened when the murder came with flowers, yet now it is locked from her. Is there ever a time in this entire story where she can decide on her own which was not dictated by one of the men? Technically she chose the murderer with the flowers, but by having brought them he set himself out from the rest. Most of the men did not even have distinguishable faces to even let her chose them. It seemed like out of all of the ones that came into the room, only three were left to choose from and one had something to set himself apart. She cannot lock the doors on the inside, but the doors leading to the outside are locked.

The murderer attempts to kill her with the stereotypical wifely duties (laundry and cleaning supplies). She is forever stuck being chased by death who is a man with a [strangely phallic description of a] knife. The entire story gives an idea at the anxiety of being in a relationship, perhaps even commenting on the more retro idea of a relationship. Perhaps she is not scared of men but rather of the idea of being with one who forces her into gender norms which she does not identify with.