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Women’s Journey to Subjectivity

Author JiaYingYing
Tutor WuCaiYa
School Suzhou University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords A. S. Byatt Possession feminism subjectivity
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
Downloads 30
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Subjectivity is a complicated and evolving concept. Related questions such as“Who we are”,“How we became and why we remain that which we are”, and“To what extent we can become something different”are asked by people throughout centuries, and answers to these questions are quite different in specific social and cultural contexts. Along with feminist movements, women’s subjectivity have caught increasing attention. Some writers have also expressed their viewpoints on women’s subjectivity in their works.A. S. Byatt, a renowned contemporary English writer, shows great concern with women’s pursuit of liberty and equality in her works. And Possession, the one widely acknowledged as her best, is of no exception. By selecting three female characters as research subjects, namely, Melusina, LaMotte, and Bailey, this thesis aims to reveal the successive relationships among them in understanding subjectivity, which constitutes a simplified version of women’s journey to subjectivity.The thesis consists of five chapters. Chapter One includes a general introduction to A. S. Byatt and her Possession, literature review and a brief account of the key concept, subjectivity. Chapter Two analyzes stereotyped women images in myths and Melusina’s blind subordination to preordained identity. Chapter Three discusses Victorian women status and LaMotte’s struggle against and her reconciliation with prescribed identity. Chapter Four expounds Feminists’influence on women and Bailey’s realization of her subjectivity. Chapter Five draws the conclusion that women can realize their subjectivity through breaking myths men instilled into women, uprooting the identity men prescribed, and assuming their own responsibility for themselves.

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