Всероссийский конкурс исследовательских работ учащихся
“ЮНОСТЬ, НАУКА, КУЛЬТУРА”
Тема: «Особенности коммуникативного поведения викторианской жены (на материале романа Эмили Бронте «Грозовой перевал»
Накви Саида Виша Захра Асад Аббас,
МБОУ «Аннинская СОШ с УИОП», Аннинского района
Кузнецова М.В., учитель английского языка
город Обнинск, 2015/2016 учебный год
Women’s theme is one of the dominant in the literary process of Victorian England (1837 - 1901). Although certain steps and scientific understanding of the problem have done by foreign and local literary critics, it’s necessary to find unique features reflecting the female theme in the works of women writers. They deserve special consideration. The idea of women's equality covered a fairly wide circle of English society in the second half of the XIX century. It found its expression in the feminist and the suffragette movements, which paid attention to women's issues for the first time, but they also identified the social determinants associated with social and sex affiliation, that is to say with those roles that society defined a man and a woman. A characteristic feature of the situation of the second half of the XIX century, is that a woman in British families continued to be an operated person, and her involvement in professional work has transformed the operation into a double one, because the rules or norms were built on the patriarchal model both in the families and at work. Outstanding achievements in research of women’s place in the family and the society, values and morals of the relationship between a male and a female belongs to writers of the Victorian period. Artistic interpretation of these problems takes a significant place in Emily Bronte’s works.
The actuality of the research: I see its actuality in the necessity of the multifaceted artistic interpretation of the female theme in the movement of literature, in identifying of the nature of the evolution of the artistic conception of a woman like a person in her historical and literary development, in changing of her place in the family and in the society in works of the UK writers in 1840 - 1870s.
The object of the research: the text of the novel "Wuthering Heights"by Emily Bronte.
The subject of research: peculiarities of communicative behavior of a Victorian wife.
The purpose of the research is: to explore the communicative behavior of the main character of the novel "Wuthering Heights"by Emily Bronte.
The main tasks are:
1. To analyze the theoretical material on the problem.
2. To analyze the text of the novel "Wuthering Heights"by Emily Bronte.
3. To determine the place of Catherine Linton in the system of marriage and family relations.
The hypothesis: Let’s assume that the main character of the novel "Wuthering Heights" Catherine Linton is a typical "Victorian wife" and she suppresses her husband.
1. . Studying of the literature on the theme of the research.
2. Women and Society
According to Erich Fromm, "the domination of men over women - this is the first act of conquest and the first use of force for the purpose of exploitation: in all patriarchal societies after the victory of men over women, these principles form the basis of man's nature".
Nowadays this problem has moved from social sphere to the area of philosophical, sociological, historical, cultural and even economic and juridical research, in which it is used so-called a gender-sensitive approach to understanding of various aspects of human activity and life: the sphere of feelings, emotional reactions, behavioral stereotypes, specific relationship with the world, forms the development and cultural values which exist in male and female versions.
Though, scientific understanding of this problem occurs only in the last decade in modern literary.
The theme of women which is characteristic for Western Europe of the XIX century, including literature and journalism, has an important place in the artistic heritage of Victorian writers. This is one of the main themes of English literature of the middle of the XIX century. It gives the key to understanding of the place of women in the society, their role in the development of social progress. It also clarifies the typicality or the specifics of the question of women’s rights and freedoms.
Showing great interest to the fate of the Englishwomen, exploring the features of the feminine, women's values, studying the role of women in various areas of public life, the Victorian writers tried objectively to reflect the life of their contemporaries, the problem of women's emancipation and the emerging feminism. Also they tried to show development of new social values in their works. It gives us an opportunity to consider their literary works as a kind of reaction on the changes of the spiritual content of the whole Victorian era.
A characteristic feature of the situation of the second half of the XIX century, is that women continued to be exploited in the families in the UK And their involvement in professional work has transformed into a double exploitation, because the rules were based on the patriarchal mode both in the families and at work. The patriarchal culture was manifested in the fact that all power was in the hands of men. All decisions were made only by men. According to Erich Fromm, "the domination of men over women is the first act of the conquest and the first use of force for the purpose of exploitation: these principles form the basis of a man's nature".
The problem of the place of women in the society and, mainly the question of their rights and freedoms, is clearly beginning to be traced in the literature of Western Europe and America at the turn of XIX-XX centuries. When the feminist movement is becoming strong and has a very significant social impact. Let’s recall Zola’s, G. de Maupassant’s, London’s, T. Fontane’s novels, and so on.
“Women’s issue” has an important place in the works of Victorian writers, who earlier than their male contemporaries referred to the description and studying of the role and place of women not only in the society but in being. Though a woman’s theme was reflected and had an important place in the works of some of British writers such as T. Hardy, E. Trollope, Oscar Wilde, I focused my attention on the creation of Emily Bronte, because this theme is brightly reflected namely in her works. It is natural that consideration of these issues is impossible without historical and socio-cultural context, which in fact, predetermined the peculiarity of forming and realization of the female theme in English Victorian novels.
3. Gender asymmetry
A gender asymmetry is a disproportionate presentation of social and cultural roles of both sexes in different areas of life. Saving of gender asymmetry in the social, spiritual, political sphere has been very significant for Victorian England. A woman was thought as a derivative person of a male in her traditional patriarchal society. It was a typical stereotyped statement about a man's mind and his social activity in the society. A woman was seen as an irrational and passive creature who was able only for housekeeping. The notion of "female" was reconstructed on the basis of improving of the natural maternal instinct, the moral and physical chastity. Presence of male’s features such as aggressiveness, assertiveness; independence in a woman’s character wasn’t endorsed or censured. Victorian writers J. Austen, C. and E. Bronte, George Elliot extended boundaries of self-expression, they stated about their attitude to the question of social stratification, hierarchic ladder (male / female) and the status of women's culture. Namely their works laid the basis for gender problems where socio-cultural processes acquired a great importance in Victorian England.
Thus, the "starting point" for the formulation and solution of the problem of the role and place of women in the society, their physical and mental capabilities were discussions about a woman and cycling, justification of physical exercise for women, about their freedom of movement, reforming of women's costume, as a woman in Victorian society was gradually acquiring absolutely other status. “The Angel in the house" is replaced by a free woman, the owner of good health and developed intellect.
The generation of writers that were included in the literature of the 1830-40s. (Sister W. and E. Bronte, George. Elliot), when writing became a recognized profession, referred to the literary labor as to an opportunity to have a job and to express their disagreement with gender asymmetry in the society. Whereas, they widely used male pseudonyms, which became a sign of radical historical changes. As a result, the status of women was improving, and she got the opportunity to participate in main directions of literary process. In general, the success in the literary sphere has become a symbol for women to achieve the highest level. Engaging intellectual work, a woman-writer could equally achieve her creative self-determination with male writers and find her own place in the literature Sh. E. Bronte, George. Elliot took the position of an observer in their novels. They are attempting submission of their own worldview, which is thoroughly filled with the concept of gender. Any description is impossible without deciphering of the policy of relations between the sexes in certain temporal and geographic boundaries.
The primary task of the representatives of the "female" line in Victorian literature is to reflect the question of finding a woman's place in a patriarchal society, the theme of spiritual quest in the plot of their own novels. E. Bronte’s, Charlotte Bronte’s and George. Elliot’s characters make their own choice and take responsibility for it themselves under any circumstances. They represent a new type of women in Victorian novel. They are unusual for their time-confident and independent. Characters of the novels are problematic; they are trying to understand existing gender stereotypes. Social problems are common for E. Bronte’s, Charlotte Bronte’s and George Elliot’s novels.
Emily Bronte describes originally relations between a woman and a man, depicting “unusual” love of the main characters Catherine and Heathcliff in her work "Wuthering Heights". The author focuses attention on the history of love of two characters in the conditions of social inequality and injustice. Strong feelings worry the main character of the novel together but she can’t be with a man she loves very much.
The novel «Wuthering Heights» presents an unusual story in the context of the Victorian era, the story of doomed love of the main characters Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw.
I’ll try to analyze the specifics of the relationships between Catherine and her lawful husband Edgar Linton. Catherine, as a married woman, behaves indecently according to morality and values of the system, her impulses and desires and her behavior with her husband do not match the Victorian canons of female submissiveness and obedience. The woman loves freedom and does everything as she thinks, and sometimes she does things even against the wishes of her husband. This fact of her behavior demonstrates the episode, when Catherine, after a long separation, meets Heathcliff, her friend of childhood, and knowing that her husband has an aversion to him, she doesn’t try to contain her joy of this meeting. ‘I know you didn't like him,’ she answered, repressing a little the intensity of her delight. ‘Yet, for my sake, you must be friends now. Shall I tell him to come up. ‘Where else?’ she asked. He looked vexed, and suggested the kitchen as a more suitable place for him. Mrs. Linton eyed him with a droll expression — half angry, half laughing at his fastidiousness. ‘No,’ she added, after a while; ‘I cannot sit in the kitchen. Set two tables here, Ellen: one for your master and Miss Isabella, being gentry; the other for Heathcliff and myself, being of the lower orders. Will that please you, dear? Or must I have a fire lighted elsewhere? If so, give directions. I'll run down and secure my guest. I'm afraid the joy is too great to be real!”
In my opinion, the main character’s behavior isn’t true because it afflicts her husband, shows disrespect to his senses, diminishes her husband’s social status and does not conform to accepted standards of behavior. Victorian morality demanded, in particular from women, suppression of emotions. Moreover, knowing the hostility of her husband to Heathcliff, she insists on "you must be friends now", using the modal verb of obligation “must”. Also she uses such construction as “or my sake”. It betrays an emotional side to the statement, turning it into an urgent request or indication. The phrase "Shall I tell him to come up?" I don’t regard as a request for permission to perform an action (usually modal verbs “can” and “may” are used for the expression of such meaning in English language). I believe that the choice of the verb “shall” isn’t accidental by Catherine. And although this phrase has the structure of a question, it has the same illocutionary force, as the statement "I shall tell him to come up" in the context. Thus Katherine doesn’t ask her husband how to act; she expresses her intention to take the definite action. Katherine does not consider that it’s necessary to listen to the opinion of the husband, and she gives a very categorical answer ( "No, I can not sit in the kitchen"). In fact, I believe the negative form of the modal verb “can not” doesn’t demonstrate the lack of ability or physical ability to perform an action, but it shows the character’s unwillingness to do so her husband says, in such way she expresses a protest against the manifestation of the will of her husband. ‘Without waiting of Edgar’s response, Catherine gives instructions to the maid. This fact confirms once more her disregard to her husband’s opinion. In addition, Catherine ironically highlights the differences in the origin and social status of the husband and Heathcliff, deliberately equating her position to a position of his friend and opposing herself to her husband. Her statement contains the semantic highlighting opposition "master and Miss Isabella - Heathcliff and myself". To enhance the effect of this opposition, Catherine adds: "Will that please you, dear? Or must I have a fire lighted else where? ". It is obvious that the woman does not really expect an answer, she only further tries to touch her husband. In this situation the verb” please” means "enjoy," "be fun", and in the context of this situation shows irony. Katherine realizes that her husband can not be glad to see Heathcliff in their house and especially to communicate with him. The modal verb” must” can be regarded as a marker of subordination, but in this situation, Catherine does not demonstrate a willingness to obey her husband. She demonstrates her ironic attitude to the husband’s status. Using this word she isn’t going to do the will of her husband. I also want to note nonverbal ways which show Catherine’s relationship to the partner. Catherine used: “Mrs. Linton eyed him with a droll expression — half angry, half laughing a this fastidiousness”. The verb “to eye” means “carefully examine". Catherine’s view can be regarded as a marker of the status position of the character to her husband. Long and a closer look at somebody is a sign of superior. And the adjective” droll” ("funny", "wonderful", "mocking") is selected by the author to describe facial expressions of Mrs. Linton. Her expression of the face says that the character isn’t not trying to hide her disdainful attitude towards her husband, but on the contrary she shows her negative relation to him.
And it seems to me that Catherine not only seeks to suppress her emotions, as the norms of behavior required, she openly shows her feelings, using non-verbal means as another way of psychological influence on her husband.
Obviously, the main character of the novel shows an atypical behavior of Victorian women. In order to get the most complete picture of the perception of Katherine’s status and her husband's status in the marriage, let’s look at an example where she shares about her impressions after the meeting with the servant and evaluates the behavior of her husband. ‘I tell you, I have such faith in Linton's love, that I believe I might kill him, and he wouldn't wish to retaliate. I advised her to value him the more for his affection. ‘I do,’ she answered, ‘but he needn't resort to whining for trifles. It is childish and, instead of melting into tears because I said that Heathcliff was now worthy of anyone's regard, and it would honor the first gentleman in the country to be his friend, he ought to have said it for me, and been delighted from sympathy. He must get accustomed to him, and he may as well like him.
The fact that the woman is discussing her husband with a servant, appreciating his deeds, tells about her disrespect for him. Declaring her belief in love of her husband to her, Catherine emphasizes her authority over the man, who is ready to tolerate any evil from her, without any resistance. The phrase "I might kill him" indicates about the perception of the woman whose husband is absolutely dependent from her in these words, Catherine concludes the following meaning: "I can do with him whatever I want, and he will not resist." In addition, the woman talks how her husband should act, using the modal verb “must” and the modal verb “ought to” with perfect infinitive, which have the meaning of reproach. The behavior of her husband, she evaluates negatively, selecting such phrases as "to whine fortrifles" and "to melt into tears", which are often used to describe the emotional response of children or women. Such behavior is unworthy for a man.
Thus, Catherine not only diminishes the social status of her husband, but also the gender status of a men. At the same time, Catherine gives extremely positive response to her friend Heathcliff using such phrases as “worthy” and” honest”, that is, attributing to him the features of a true gentleman.
. The woman spends opposition between her husband, whose behavior she describes as childish, and her friend, who doesn’t have a noble origin, but according her point of view he deserves of universal respect (worthy of anyone's regard).
To my mind, there is the brightest episode where an open conflict happens between Heathcliff and Edgar, and Katherine, as a witness and a culprit of this conflict, does not try to protect or take a side of her husband, but she is condemning her husband’s behavior. ‘Fair means!’ she said, in answer to her husband's look of angry surprise. ‘If you have not courage to attack him, make an apology, or allow yourself to be beaten. It will correct you of feigning more valour than you possess. No, I'll swallow the key before you shall get it! I'm delightfully rewarded for my kindness to each! After constant indulgence of one's weak nature, and the other's bad one, I earn for thanks two samples of blind ingratitude, stupid to absurdity! Edgar, I was defending you and yours; and I wish Heathcliff may flog you sick, for daring to think an evil thought of me!’
The phrase "Fair means!”, is a speech act, which form and content don’t combine with the emotional sign. So ironic the character expresses her indignation because her husband attempted to call a servant for a help, instead to deal with Heathcliff himself.
In presence of servants and Heathcliff Catherine blames the husband in his cowardice and demands from him to apologize to the person whom he dislikes. The Catherine uses such imperative structures as” make an apology” and “allow yourself to be beaten”.
To make the most illocutionary force statement, Mrs. Linton uses the syntactic structure which is called a conditional sentence of the real-type (If you have not courage ...); the woman insists on that her husband must either use physical force against Heathcliff, or expose himself under the blows of the enemy. An instructive tone in the phrase "It will correct you ..." indicates that Katherine sees her position as superior, allowing herself to admonish her husband.
The absolute form of possessive pronoun your (yours) is used by Catherine to define the property and the husband's family, but she doesn’t involve herself in a number of the husband’s relatives.
The analysis of communication with each other in the family of Linton allowed me to reveal peculiarities of the characters’ marital relationships and I come to conclusion that this pair is atypical for Victorian model. Mrs. Linton doesn’t respect community norms and norms of a woman who is married. This disparity of normative expectations and status positions in marriage can be explained by personal characteristics of the characters and the peculiarities of their interpersonal relationships. Katherine is an example of a strong and a freedom-loving woman who does not correspond to the canons of Victorian womanhood. Namely femininity was considered the defining quality of submission. In her work Emily Brontë created the image of a woman, who rebels and lives in accordance with her own personal moral principles.
In my point of view, the idea for his novel the writer had learned from developing of suffragette movement, which explains so unusual interpretation of the role and the place of a married woman for Victorian period.
The specifics of the approach to the artistic understanding of women's issues by women -writers is in that the works which were created by them contribute to changing of values and views in favor of the private sphere of a woman's life and changing of the roles and responsibilities of women in the society. Describing the features of the women's perception of the reality, I conclude that the subjectivism of evaluations, the ability to think "through the feeling present in the works of women writers. Writers of the female gender discovered the way for a powerful stream of personal perception of the world in their works. They are characterized by a deep insight into the psychology of women. At the same time women writers, the creative heritage of which was reflected in my work, laid the tradition of interpretation of the female theme in the literary process of Britain of subsequent decades. I believe that the aim of my research is achieved, the hypothesis is proved.
1. Alekseev MN English literature: essays and research / M. Alekseyev. - L .: Nauka, 1991. - 460 p.
2. Victorians. Pillars of the British policy of the XIX century / ed. IM Uznarodova. - Rostov / D, 1996. - 208 p.
3. Emily Bronte. “Wuthering Heights”. - London: Penguin, 2005
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