Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit
is Jeanette Winterson's somewhat autobiographical Coming of Age
novel about a young adopted girl discovering she's a lesbian in a fanatically Christian community. It was later adapted as a Mini Series
by the BBC
- Adaptation Name Change: Jeanette is renamed Jessica in the TV adaptation, possibly to reduce the autobiographical elements of the story.
- Adults Are Useless: The only adult who even tries to help the protagonist is Mrs. Jewsberry who has possibly non-consensual and definitely underage sex with her.
- Allegory Adventure: The fairy tales that pepper the text usually mirror Jeanette's life in some fashion.
- Arc Words:
- Author Avatar: Quite obviously Jeanette.
- Biblical Motifs: Tons of them, including: casting the first stone, the walls of Jericho, Lot's wife, "to the pure all things are pure" (Titus 1.15), the number seven, and the names of the chapters.
- Butch Lesbian: Kinda. Jeanette says she sees no similarity between herself and men — except that she always wears trousers. In the miniseries this is averted: she almost never wears trousers and yet is attracted to the femme Melanie.
- Coming-Out Story
- Cool Old Lady: Elsie
- Double Standard: Rape, Female on Female: Implied with the interactions between Jeanette and Mrs. Jewsberry.
- The Fundamentalist: Jeanette's mother.
- Girls Love: With Melanie and later Katy.
- Holier Than Thou: Melanie's husband has this attitude. So does Jeanette's mother and most of the congregation members.
- Jane Eyre: It's Jeanette's mother's favorite book. Later we find out that her mother changed the ending so that Jane marries St. John.
- Lipstick Lesbian: In the miniseries.
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: Elsie
- Motif: The eponymous oranges. Also the rough brown pebble.
- Nightmare Fetishist: Jeanette was like this as a child.
- No Sex Allowed: This seems to be the rule in Jeanette's community. Her parents adopted her to avoid having sex.
- Only Sane Man: Jeanette for most of the story.
- Religion Is Wrong: Or at least fundamentalism is.
- Spiteful Spit
- Title Drop: Towards the end, when Jeanette's mother winds up with a ton of pineapple and everybody at the church eats lots of pineapple dishes for a while.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Though all the other lesbians in the miniseries are Lipstick Lesbians, the two who run the sweet shop are a butch/femme couple.
- Theme Naming: The chapters are named for the first eight books of the Christian Bible.