《纯真年代》中的女性主义解读_英语文学论文
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ABSTRACT

Edith Wharton, as a prolific woman writer, occupies a prominent role in modern American literature. The Age of Innocence, which is generally considered to be her best work, has brought to her the prey of Pulitzer Prize.
The novel takes place in New York upper-class society. It is a society of conventions and old-fashioned ideas. Every behavior should take form as the supreme criteria. Instead of having labels on everything, this society is governed by arbitrary signs. Anyone who shows no respect for this form and breaks these signs will be despised and even gets punished. With the delicate and sensitive writing style peculiar to women writers, Wharton is able to probe deeply into women’s psychology and gives a vivid picture of women’s living conditions and sufferings in the patriarchal society. In this novel, she also successfully creates Ellen, a typical “New Women”. With the rising and development of feminist movement in 1960s, Wharton begins popular again. This paper is trying to decipher feminism in The Age of Innocence from these two aspects, one is social ideology and the other is characterization.
In fact, in this society, women aren’t entitled the right of being as free as men. After all, a young woman’s place is under her husband’s roof. Marriage is the central fact of a woman’s life. The characterization of Newland, May, and Ellen also shows how difficult it is for a woman to strive for her freedom and what social conventions have done to women. Some other characters, such as Mrs. Welland and Mrs. van der luyden, act as women custodians of this patriarch society. They try their best to keep this small society in order.
Though The Age of Innocence is a story about Newland Archer’s choice between his intuitive love and socially acceptable morality, feminist thoughts are definitely included in this story. It is manifested in this novel that women are only able to gain freedom both body and sour by abandoning the manacles created by tradition. Thus they can develop into mature human beings as men.

Key words: The Age of Innocence; feminism; patriarchy; freedom; suppression

摘要

伊迪丝•华顿作为一名多产的女性作家,其在美国文学上的地位不可小觑。作品《纯真年代》是华顿最优秀的作品,也为她赢得了普利策小说奖。
小说《纯真年代》以美国上流社会为背景,这个小社会是有着严格道德标准和传统习俗的,而这种道德标准和习俗是由一系列的符号组成的。其实这个社会就是一个父权社会。华顿以女性特有的敏感和纤巧的笔触细致入微深入女性内心,描写女性心理,述说女性遭遇以及所受压迫,塑造了艾伦这一新女性形象。随着女权运动的兴起,华顿作品再次受到文学评论家的重视。本文从社会意识形态和人物塑造两个角度来解读《纯真年代》中的女性主义。
从社会意识形态方面而言,男人普遍认为女人永远不能也不应该拥有女性那样的自由。女人只能是附庸。一个女人合理的位子永远是在屋檐下。通过分析《纯真年代》中的三个主要人物,纽兰,爱伦,梅,表现父权社会中的思想、教育对女性的毒害之深以及在这样一个社会中,女性要追求自由该有多难。通过对韦兰夫人等其他女性的分析,说明父权思想已经将女性同化其帮凶,她们积极维护着这个父权社会的制度,丝毫不觉得自己深受父权思想的毒害。
虽然《纯真年代》被认为是关于男性的故事,讲述了纽兰走向自我定义的过程,但无疑女性主义思想是充斥其中的。华顿认为女性只有大胆抛弃男权社会的枷锁,才会发展成具有独立自主精神,自我意识的完整的人。

关键词:《纯真年代》;女性主义;父权;自由;压迫

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