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Lacanian visuality in George Eliot’s narration: Middlemarch


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Sandalić, Ema. (2018). Lacanian visuality in George Eliot’s narration: Middlemarch. Diploma Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of English Language and Literature
Department of Comparative Literature. [mentor Jukić, Tatjana and Matijašević, Željka].

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The thesis provides a twofold analysis, the first part of which concerns the usage of pseudonyms as a strategy employed by Victorian women writers. The use of pseudonyms is examined from the standpoint of Lacanian psychoanalysis, while George Eliot repeatedly resurfaces not only as one such author, but also as an exemplification of the association of women writers with men, and their identification with their fathers and literary forefathers. The second part of the thesis surveys what may be considered as the multiplication of the gaze in Eliot’s Middlemarch. The gaze of the omniscient narrator is analysed in accordance with Lacan’s understanding of the concept of the gaze, while the character of Dorothea Brooke proves to be a privileged spectator. The gaze of particular female characters results in anxiety affecting their husbands, enabling the claim that women function as pre-eminent observers among the inhabitants of Middlemarch. The residents of Middlemarch manifest a type of surveillance explicable in terms of Foucault’s understanding of disciplinary mechanisms as effects of political dominance of the middle class. The proliferation of the gaze in Middlemarch contains a relationship between three terms. The gaze of the narrator, the gaze of the wife, and the husband as the object of the gaze create a structure similar to the one discovered by Lacan in Poe’s story “The Purloined Letter”, which serves as an illustration of Lacan’s lecture in reading, thus proving the applicability of Lacanian psychoanalysis on Middlemarch.

Item Type: Diploma Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: gaze, pseudonyms, fatherhood, discipline, Victorian women writers
Subjects: English language and literature
Comparative literature
Departments: Department of English Language and Literature
Department of Comparative Literature
Supervisor: Jukić, Tatjana and Matijašević, Željka
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2018 12:38
Last Modified: 02 Oct 2018 12:38

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