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Analysis of Hemingway’s the Old Man and the Sea and "Up in Michigan"-From the Perspective of Feminist Stylistics

Author ChuLin
Tutor MiaoXingWei
School Shandong University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords Feminist Stylistics metaphor transitivity fragmentation Hemingway
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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In the western world, women live in patriarchal society with relatively lower social positions, and men undoubtedly have the absolute discourse right. Under this patriarchal system, patriarchal consciousness and sexual discrimination find themselves in many social aspects like language.Feminist Stylistics takes post-modernism, post-Marxism and feminist thoughts as its theoretical basis, puts texts in certain historical cultural environment, and introduces the concept of gender into classic stylistic studies, focusing on the discrimination against the women images and sexism and gender stereotype in the stylistic analyses, the aim of which is to challenge the conventional distortion of women’s experiences in the interpretation of the text, to criticize the patriarchal ideology in language through analyzing the stylistic features of literary texts and to construct the multiple meanings and diversity of the textual analyses as well. The traditional feminist literary criticism mainly concerns the content analysis of texts, which in the eyes of feminist stylists has certain degree of subjectivity and one-sidedness. Feminist Stylistics especially emphasizes analyzing language of texts in the context of productive and receptive process. The feminist stylists think it has certain value to make objective and precise analysis of the language of texts.As everyone knows, Hemingway was one of the most notable novelists in the history of American literature. His works were famous for the stereotypical "tough guy" images and his writing style of "Iceberg Principle", which left great research space for the researchers to find out what deep senses were concealed under the line-drawing images and superficial concise language.His attitudes towards women, which were embodied in his works, have always been the focuses of criticism. In many critics’ eyes, Hemingway was an absolute male chauvinist who discriminated against women, and in whose works female characters always served as contrast or foil. However, Hemingway’s attitudes towards women were not so simple. On the basis of previous studies, this thesis explains Hemingway’s sexual standpoint and complex attitudes towards women under the effect of the patriarchal culture and ideology through analyzing his short story "Up in Michigan" and the novella The Old Man and the Sea by means of the three important research methods of Feminist Stylistics—metaphor, transitivity and fragmentation. At the same time, the thesis is to explicate that feminine stylistics provides a perspective of understanding or savoring the language of novels and a more objective analysis method for the developing literary criticism.

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