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A Feminist Interpretation of the Da Vinci Code

Author LiZuoZuo
Tutor CaoLiHua
School Liaoning University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords feminism female identity equality
CLC
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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Feminism comes into being with the development of social modernization and industrialization. From the fight of women for voting right at the beginning to the movement of women liberation, feminism has entered almost every aspect of society now. Since early 19th century people have started to pay attention to the women status in literary works. The analysis of feminism, feminist narratology and feminist translation theory has already started to try to explore more from the perspective of feminism.This thesis analyzes Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code from the perspective of feminism on the basis of feminism effect on literary works. This thesis also tries to explore the feminism effect on literature, religion and sociology through the analysis of female identity in The Da Vinci Code. Besides, the realistic significance of feminist movement is also discussed in this thesis in order to explore the social and realistic significance of female identity in The Da Vinci Code.The analysis is constructed from two perspectives. Firstly, this thesis introduces the development and genres of feminism and discusses the effect of feminism on modern society. And the analysis of the realistic significance of The Da Vinci Code is based on these feminist theories. Secondly, this thesis analyzes The Da Vinci Code from the perspective of feminism which is mainly from the standpoints of realistic background, text background, characters, writing skills, plot and so on. Besides, this thesis also analyzes and discusses the women status in religions.This thesis is constructed with introduction, the main body and conclusion.The introduction presents the main body of The Da Vinci Code and gives a summary of this thesis.The main body of this thesis is as follows:Chapter One introduces the development and genres of feminism. The development of feminism is divided into three stages or three waves in which the characteristics of feminism in different period are presented. And the genres of feminism mainly include Liberal Feminism, Psychoanalytic Feminism and Marxist Feminism/Socialist Feminism. These feminist theories are the theoretical basis for the analysis of The Da Vinci Code. Chapter Two analyzes the realistic background and the text background of The Da Vinci Code from the perspective of feminism. In the realistic background this thesis analyzes the development and the status quo of feminism in Britain, America and France. In the text background of The Da Vinci Code this thesis discusses the effect of feminism on the construction of this work’s plot, themes and so on.Chapter Three introduces and analyzes the characters in The Da Vinci Code. The analysis is divided into two parts as the analysis of male characters and the analysis of female characters. Through this analysis the inner relations among the characters are explored and discussed. And the feminist effect on society and ideology is further discussed.Chapter Four mainly analyzes the writing skills in The Da Vinci Code from the perspective of feminism. Through the analysis of clues, symbols and stream of consciousness, the feminist effect is further explored.Chapter Five mainly analyzes the religious factors in The Da Vinci Code, introduces the development and genres of Christianity, and discuses the status of women in religions. Besides, the status of women in Chinese religions is also discussed which supplements the analysis of female identity in religions. And through this analysis, this chapter tries to explore the feminist thoughts expressed in The Da Vinci Code.All through the above analysis and discussion, the conclusion sums up the viewpoints of this thesis.As Dan Brown said through the hero in The Da Vinci Code,“the world is a web of profoundly intertwined histories and events, and the connections may be invisible,…but they are always there, buried just beneath the surface”(Dan Brown, 2003: 10). And the author seems to intertwine all the thoughts of feminism into the different parts of the text. Therefore, the analysis of this thesis tries to read the feminist thoughts from the characters of the story and explore the relations between them.Consciously or unconsciously, the feminist thoughts presented in The Da Vinci Code can be found everywhere in the book, and thus the setting and plot makes the author far from the neutral place. However, what the author wants to express is a wish to achieve equality and balance between men and women in society and in ideology. Through the analysis of this book from the perspective of feminism, this thesis tries to explore the realistic significance through the feminist thoughts expressed in The Da Vinci Code.This thesis is the first one analyzing The Da Vinci Code from the perspective of feminism at home and abroad. Through the analysis of the feminist thoughts in this book, it’s expected that more people will pay attention to this book and study and analyze this book.

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