Narrative Skepticism: Moral Agency and Representations of Consciousness in Fiction

Synopsis

Using narrative, philosophical, and psychoanalytic theory, Linda S. Raphael investigates the development of skepticism in narrative. She argues that as authors explore more deeply the inner life of characters, their narratives become more skeptical about pinning down what it means to lead a good life. This argument is buttressed through a close examination of Jane Austen's Persuasion, George Eliot's Middle-march, Henry James's The Wings of the Dove, Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, and Kazuo Ishiguro's The Remains of the Day.