The narrative construction of the female body in the British novel of the 19th century by Dagmar Hecher

The narrative construction of the female body in the British novel of the 19th century

byDagmar Hecher

Kobo ebook | April 13, 2007

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Diploma Thesis from the year 2007 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: Gut, University of Vienna (Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistk), 30 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: Based on a variety of social and cultural confinements regarding the depiction of certain parts of the female body in literature, 19th century British novelists had to concentrate on those bodily attributes of women which were considered proper and decent to be displayed in writing. Answering the social rules prohibiting the public exhibition of female passions and feelings, such as sexual arousal, love or wrath, authors turned to methods of substituting the direct reference to those very emotions, thereby employing the parts of the female body they could with a clear conscience depict in their interpretations. This method of illustrating the female body in connection with women's emotional state is going to be discussed on the basis of Jane Austen's novels Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice, Charlotte Bront?'s Jane Eyre and the short novel Daisy Miller by Henry James. A prominent feature of 19th century literature, used to demonstrate the interdependency of mind and body, is illness. The body suffering from physical as well as mental diseases is frequently instrumentalized by novelists as a messenger delivering information about a person's emotional condition. Additionally, 19th century authors tend to use illness as a starting point for character and plot changes as well as romantic relationships between men and women, and refer to a character's sickness as his or her lawful punishment for improper conduct. One of the most important tools for novelists in revealing their characters' thoughts and emotions is the female complexion. Frequently subject to blushing or turning pale, the female face functions as an apt communicator of a woman's mind and heart. A blush can uncover a character's romantic affections, embarrassment, guilty conscience, excitement or anger, and can be seen as an indicator of a woman's awareness of incorrect conduct. Paleness often reflects a character's shock or despair and is attributed to poor health. Amongst others, these factors, supported by a thorough introduction to the social, cultural and political backgrounds of the three concerned novelists, shall be discussed and interpreted in the course of this thesis.

Title:The narrative construction of the female body in the British novel of the 19th centuryFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:April 13, 2007Publisher:GRIN PublishingLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:3638623297

ISBN - 13:9783638623292

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