Class, Gender and Sexuality: the Representations of Women and Domestic Myth in Charles Dickens's Little Dorrit
|Keywords:||陰性書寫;自慰書寫;狄更斯與達爾文;維多利亞時期之孩童形象;亂倫;男性書寫;權力與論述;家庭迷思;狄更斯;小杜麗;狄更斯之戀童僻;維多利亞時期家庭觀;女性典型;性相與食慾;Victorian gender and sexuality;ideal bourgeois household;autoerotic storytelling;the Victorian child;ideal womanhood;Charles Dickens;the domestic cult;class ideology;virgins and fallen women;incest;Little Dorrit;Victorian age;pedophilia in Dickens;power and discourse;Victorian sexuality and appetite;surrogate parenthood;Dickens and Darwin||Issue Date:||2004||Abstract:||
本論文旨在探討英國文壇巨擘狄更斯較不為人熟稔之作品《小杜麗》中，女性形象與父權主義所建構出來之家庭迷思的個別呈現與社會面象。研究資料除了小說文本外，亦援引二十世紀文化批評家關於權力輿紀律之論述，以及維多利亞時期當代對於性別(gender)與性相(sexuality) 之辯論與型塑，特別是引起軒然大波之所謂「女性的問題」(The Woman Question)。「女性問題」乃議及女性的本質、生理結構，以及相對於男性，女性在逐漸核心化的小家庭及益驅工業資本化社會中應當扮演的角色。
藉由將狄更斯「還原」至其所耳濡目染並積極參與之當代的社會、人文與科學論述脈絡中，本研究認為狄更斯在《小杜麗》的表面文本(surface text) 與基調上雖仍不脫其主流社會中產階級男性的觀點，然而透過一些所謂的「他者」角色，特別是不被主流父權主義認可或公然挑戰社會價值觀的女性他者，讀者似乎瞥見狄更斯「另類」的一面。小說所歌頌之女性特質（母愛、純潔、無私與奉獻）由又有然地被女主角小杜麗的戀父情結及小說中穿插的三個故事所顛覆、傾軋。筆者認為這三個故事不僅碰觸到狄更斯個人矛盾的心理情節，更反映了維多利亞時期傳承自啟蒙時代理性╱感性、靈╱肉二元化以來對於性愛與女性性相間複雜糾葛的社會心理，自我矛盾的意識型態。另，文末兩篇附錄分別探討了狄更斯與維多利亞當代就女性議題衍生出來之不同文派間的對位關係，以及狄更斯與當代科學論述，特別是生物與社會進化論的關係。此兩篇附錄雖與研究主旨無直接且絕對的關係，筆者認為在相互交涉閱讀之間，實有間接且彼此映證的效果。
This thesis examines the representations of women in Dickens's Little Dorrit (1855-7) in relation to the domestic myth envisioned by him and the larger social controversies over the Woman Question at his time. Engaging these issues from three interrelated aspects—class, gender, and sexuality—I set out to demonstrate how Dickens as a novelist actively participates in the debates and controversies of his time, transcribing not only his domestic reform project for social ills but also personal anxieties and socio-specific complexes onto the fictional page.
Growing up in a lower-class milieu, familiar with the ways and cant of the streets, Dickens truly sympathizes with the plight of the lower class. However, as a self-made man, a public figure and a proclaimed spokesman of household bliss, Dickens represents the bourgeois myth of self-help success and constantly enacts in his fictional world middle-class imaginations of little women (daughter and/or wives) as ministering angels and milking mothers to hard-working men. By situating Little Dorrit's woman figures in Victorian cultural contexts, drawing upon nineteenth-century discourse and modern criticism, I would argue that Dickens endorses a kind of gendered domestic ideology that for him would diminish Victorian society’s emerging maladies, a domestic “fiction” that predicates on Victorian age's idealization of women and the politics of separate spheres. However, although Dickens's ideal women largely typify Victorian stereotypes and his text often underscores certain Victorian class and gender ideologies, a number of marginal/ized women in Little Dorrit break out of his authorial interpellations and problematize his domestic agenda. More scandalizing, still, are the occasional betrayals of the good daughters’subterranean desires deflected through the dubious surrogate parenting relations and the transference, if not exorcism, of ideal women’s sexual desire onto “innocent” filial piety. Through a brief survey of ideal Victorian household, ideal Victorian womanhood, and ideal Victorian appetite, I hope to illustrate Victorian fascinations with women's body size, its gynephobia complex and a nascent pedophiliac fixation on “little childlike women” many Victorian writers shared. Through Dickens the colossal Victorian, these cultural fears and fascinations found their way into Little Dorrit, surfacing mainly through subtexts or paratexts of the novel. Three abruptly interpolated stories within the story undermine most insinuatingly Dickens's domestic fiction and insistence on the redeeming grace of the childlike, innocent, virginal woman. I would argue that these stories and the very act of storytelling are as automatic, autonomous, as autoerotic to their respective storytellers, masking secret fascination with female sexuality while implicating such cultural taboos as incest and intra-female homoeroticism.
|Appears in Collections:||外國語文學系|
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