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The Analysis of Mrs. Warren’s Profession from the Perspective of Feminism

Author XuZuo
Tutor CuiMingLu
School Northwestern University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords Patriarchy Feminism Fallen Woman New Woman Mrs.Warren’s Profession
Type Master's thesis
Year 2010
Downloads 1083
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George Bernard Shaw is one of the great British dramatists following Shakespeare. A series of his excellent dramas have far-reaching social significance and unique values for study even until the present. Scholars at home and abroad have spent much academic energy on his works from different perspectives. This thesis explores two typical female characters in Mrs. Warren’s Profession at the help of feminist theory to enrich the study of Shaw.From the perspective of feminism, the thesis attempts to conduct an in-depth analysis of the two heroines, reflecting the feminine rebellious spirit in a patriarchal society as well as the evil of capitalistic society. Undoubtedly, as the representative of "Depraved Women", the ignoble profession of Mrs. Warren poses a huge challenge against the dominating patriarchy at that time. However, Bernard Shaw has shown great sympathy toward women who have the least economic strength and the lowest social status. Different from the other traditional females, Vivie acts as a representative of New Women whose independence, bravery and self-consciousness have led her to travel against the traditional direction. As a traditional male writer, Bernard Shaw has placed great attention on women’s status and has tried to provide a direction for them. But due to his own limitations, it seems that Mrs. Warren and Vivie’s choices are not advisable.In accordance with the theoretical viewpoints of feminism, the current passage offers a re-interpretation of the fate for women in a patriarchal society. The passage is composed by 6 parts. Chapter one is a general introduction including the life and literary life of George Bernard Shaw, general idea of Mrs. Warren’s Profession, significance of the study and thesis structure. Chapter Two is the literature review including the researches on this subject at home and abroad. Chapter three is the theory of feminism as well as the relationship between Mrs. Warren’s Profession and feminism in terms of theory and practices. Chapter four is an analysis of two typical women figures in the patriarchal society who are the representatives of the "Depraved Woman" and the "New Women" respectively. The author gives her consideration on the way-out of two heroines in chapter five. Because of the limitation of identity and times, Shaw did not offer a perfect way for women in patriarchal society. The last part is conclusion which gives a summary of this thesis as well as the limitation of the present study and some proposals for future studies.

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