Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/153408
Title: THE ACHE OF MODERNISM : THE EMERGENT MODERN WOMAN IN THE FICTION OF THOMAS HARDY, HENRY JAMES AND FORD MADOX FORD
Authors: NGOH GEOK LUN
Issue Date: 1987
Citation: NGOH GEOK LUN (1987). THE ACHE OF MODERNISM : THE EMERGENT MODERN WOMAN IN THE FICTION OF THOMAS HARDY, HENRY JAMES AND FORD MADOX FORD. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Modernism may be said to have had its beqinninqs within the last three decades of the nineteenth century and the early years of the twentieth, a period which saw unprecedented chanqe associated with scientific advance and development in thouqht. The rapid change and the resultant loss of the sense of a common world led to an emphasis on subjectivity, and a call for the recognition of individual worth as opposed to race, sex or class as the criterion for assessing a person. Hence the beginning of modernism coincided with the movement for women's rights and an increase of self-consciousness in women as one of the groups who have suffered discrimination. Women themselves, as well as enlightened men, were seeking a redefinition of women's role in society. With their increased opportunities for education and employment, women were demanding to be treated as persons in their own right. The emergent modern woman seen in real life comes to be depicted in literature too, and the novels of Hardy, James and Ford provide outstanding examples of such a woman. This thesis concentrates on the modern woman as portrayed by these writers. The Introduction sets the scene for the transition from the Victorian to the modern age and explains the choice of Hardy, James and Ford as the subjects of this study. The main area of the work is divided into two parts. Part I, which consists of three chapters, considers the emergent modern woman as a person living her life in a difficult situation and responding to it in her own unconventional way. Her strong sense of self determines the way she carries herself and makes her choices. Chapter one studies Hardy's Tess Durbeyfield and Eustacia Vye as women whose modernity causes them to find that their world is a hostile one which they have to contend with. Chapter Two deals with Hardy's Sue Bridehead and Ford's Leonora Ashburnham, who are so split in themselves by the contradictions in their experiences that they are forced into self-destructive actions. The four heroines discussed in Chapter Three, Hardy's Bathsheba Everdene, James's Isabel Archer and Maggie Verver, and Ford's Valentine Wannop, are considered in relation to their sense of self, which is the distinguishing feature in their characters and determines the success or failure of their lives. Because frankness and realism in modern fiction make the treatment of sex and marriage different from that in traditional novels, it is interesting to study the exper1ence of the modern heroine in relation to these issues. That is the concern of Part II. Chapter Four makes a general survey of the experiences of the heroines under study in their marital and sexual relationships. It also considers D.H. Lawrence's treatment of women in connection with this theme. Chapter Five is devoted to the experience of the two heroines whose destiny does not include marriage; thus, James's Olive Chancellor and Catherine Sloper are discussed as single women. The concluding chapter surveys the field, briefly considering the ten heroines in relation to one another and remarking on the inevitability of suffering for the emergent modern woman.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/153408
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Restricted)

Show full item record
Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormatAccess SettingsVersion 
b19107882.pdf15.65 MBAdobe PDF

RESTRICTED

NoneLog In

Page view(s)

7
checked on Sep 18, 2020

Google ScholarTM

Check


Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.