The Dark Triad and Sensory Marketing:

Grace Paley’s “The Pale Pink Roast”




desire, persuasion, image, female sexuality, sensory marketing


With the commodification of the body image in modern day media and advertising, marketing of the self to gain power over one’s surroundings has become a commonplace phenomenon. Well-adapted individuals are seen to manifest a perfect body image of themselves that give them the power to influence the behavior and decisions of others. From a psychological perspective, this propensity of self-glorification through sensory marketing reveals a narcissistic strain of manipulative behavior which embodies characteristics of “the dark triad.” But for manipulation to occur, the victim must be willing for influence to take place. Through an in-depth analysis of Grace Paley’s “The Pale Pink Roast,” this article looks at how Peter’s personality, infused with traits of the dark triad, appeals to Anna’s sexuality and influences her into behavior that renders her feeling helplessly guilty and confused. From the very beginning of the short story, the sensory experience engages Anna’s perception, clouds her judgment and affects her behavior. Here sensory marketing has been considered as a mechanism of persuasion that powerfully overwhelms Anna into sexual acquiescence and results in her surrendering to a desire that has an unwholesome effect on her sense of self. Through Anna, Paley explores the complexity of female sexuality that the modernized women of her time were facing.




How to Cite

Khanom, A. (2022). The Dark Triad and Sensory Marketing:: Grace Paley’s “The Pale Pink Roast”. Crossings: A Journal of English Studies, 13(2), 54–65.




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