Women’s Death as the Triumph in the Patriarchal World of Victorian Imagination

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Abstract The novel chosen for this study are Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles (1891) and the Mayor of Casterbridge (1889). I choose Lacan’s psychoanalytic theory as a way to understand the psyche or the unconscious of the Victorian construction of gender. I will explore the process of the construction of the symbolic order. The close relation between Lacanian and feminist theories has led me to adopt the latter as well, as espoused by Julia Kristeva in order to investigate the interconnection of these theories through the manifestation of the woman’s role as goods. This manifestation refers to the ways in which the female characters are victimized in the patriarchal order, which transforms them into commodities in what Lacan terms the symbolic male-dominated setting. Therefore, it is crucial to study Kristeva’s discourse on the connection of women to abjection/death. Kristeva’s concept is considered under the postulation of Lacan’s psychoanalytic theories, to clarify the attempt of the patriarchal order to repress the identities of women by depicting them as incomplete, and how they can contest this symbolic patriarchal view of the Victorian era. It will examine the paths that women have taken to overcome their oppressive exclusion that law and how women can manifest their capability to threaten this order.

 


Keywords: Abjection, ThomasHardy, Symbolic Law, Women, Victorian Era;

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