Dissertation > Language, writing > FOREIGN > English > Translation

An Ecofeminist Interpretation of Sons and Lovers

Author MaHongYun
Tutor ZhaoXiuFu
School Shandong University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords Sons and Lovers ecofeminism deconstruct patriarchy
CLC H315.9
Type Master's thesis
Year 2012
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This thesis aims to explore the ecofeminist consciousness in Sons and Lovers. As the earliest masterpiece of D. H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers has aroused lots of attention from scholars and critics, who have studied it from various perspectives. Based on their studies both at home and abroad, this thesis attempts to interpret Sons and Lovers from the perspective of ecofeminism.Ecofeminism, as a newly-sprung school of philosophical thinking, is the timely response to the urgency of the dual predicament of environmental deterioration and gender discrimination. Most of the ecofeminists believe that the male-centered ideology, represented by patriarchy, is prone to a rigid dichotomous way of thinking, which condemns nature and women to an inferior status, and which is used to justify men’s oppression of nature and women. Therefore, the shared oppression of nature and women can be said to originate from patriarchy, which is mainly manifested in the form of anthropocentrism and androcentrism.This thesis is comprised of five parts—the introduction, three main chapters, and the conclusion.The introduction presents the literature review of Lawrence and Sons and Lovers as well as the general development of ecofeminism, which serves as the theoretical framework for this thesis. Besides, it introduces the structure and significance of this study.Chapter One gives a detailed analysis of patriarchy which is the root of oppression of nature and women. Firstly, the deterioration of the environment shows the pervasive orientation of human-centeredness. Secondly, suppression suffered by the three female protagonists reveals the male-chauvinism in the patriarchal society.Chapter Two discusses the possibility of deconstructing the patriarchal ideologies described in the above analysis. Firstly, regardless of the inherent values of nature, man has been engaged in blind pursuits of industrialization and materialism, which ends in their alienation from community and self. This consequence is beyond the expectation of the anthropocentrists and contains a great ironical sense. Besides, contrary to the claimed mutual exclusion of man and nature, the harmonious coexistence between nature and the female protagonists is temporarily achieved. That temporary harmony diminishes the power of anthropocentrism to a great extent. Secondly, instead of being docile and tolerant in face of suppression, the female protagonists in the novel have revolted against their male counterparts and the patriarchal Victorian world. Their revolts have powerfully challenged the dominant position of men. In addition, each of the male and female characters in the novel displays a combination of masculine and feminine traits. This androgyny dismantles the androcentrists’assumption that men are the sole species in possess of certain superior traits.Chapter Three focuses on Lawrence’s ideal of an ecofeminist world. In order to better interpret the formation of Lawrence’s ecofeminist consciousness, a brief survey of Lawrence’s life experience is made concerning his affection towards women and nature. Moreover, between the forces safeguarding patriarchy and the forces attempting to deconstruct patriarchy, Lawrence aims to strike a certain balance and envisions an ecofeminist world where man and nature, men and women exist harmoniously.From the above analysis, this thesis comes to the conclusion that Lawrence has revealed abundant ecofeminist consciousness in Sons and Lovers.

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