The Stone and the Scorpion: The Female Subject of Desire in the Novels of Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, and Thomas Hardy

By Judith Mitchell | Go to book overview

1
INTRODUCTION: THE EROTIC SUBJECT

There is something wrong with erotic relations in our culture. Exactly what that something might be has been the subject of massive and ongoing speculation by theorists in widely disparate fields, the gist of which I shall try to summarize in the following chapter. The succeeding chapters constitute a re-reading of the erotic in twelve well-read canonical novels, a reading that seeks to define and locate a somewhat elusive entity, a female subject of desire.

The objectification of women in Western culture has become a critical commonplace in several fields of inquiry, and my search for a female subject in literature parallels a similar search that is currently taking place in film criticism and visual arts criticism. 1 The realist novel is a particularly intriguing genre to approach in this way (as are mainstream cinema and representational art), first because its ideological assumptions are so persuasively embedded in the structure of the work itself, and also because such an examination inevitably addresses the wider issue of whether realism itself is in fact complicit with patriarchy, as some theorists have suggested. This project can be seen as a small part of the larger, immensely important intellectual enterprise which has been taking place over the past few decades, namely the disruption of dualistic modes of perception. The disruption of male-female dualities, in particular, is essential in the re-creation of erotic relationships in our culture. The urgent search for a new wholeness is not only (or should not only be) a feminist undertaking; that my project is subsumed under a feminist label is in fact part of the problem.

At the moment, however, such an inquiry is ineluctably feminist, and as such needs to be justified in two ways, namely in my choice of both male and female writers and in my choice of canonical writers. I have chosen to examine the work of both male and female novelists simply because I do not believe feminism to be a gendered attribute; 2 and I have chosen canoni

-1-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Stone and the Scorpion: The Female Subject of Desire in the Novels of Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, and Thomas Hardy
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 232

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.