Ambiguous Discourse: Feminist Narratology & British Women Writers

By Kathy Mezei | Go to book overview
23.
Finch and Bowen argue that the narrative function of gossip is ultimately to confirm rather than to undermine the social agenda, in that it ends up coinciding with the narrative voice of the novel: "And just as gossip in the novel is distributed among certain members of the Highbury community, so the narrative authority of the novel--by being located nowhere in particular--manages to be everywhere at once" (6). Jan Gordon, on the other hand, suggests that "gossip is a kind of mass epic with its own storytellers in Jane Austen, but one which is invariably threatening to other kinds of stories being narrated," in "A-filiative Families and Subversive Reproduction: Gossip in Jane Austen," 7. These opposing interpretations reveal the complex ways in which gossip operates in Emma, for neither the conservative nor the radical aspect can be completely negated, as I try to show.
24.
Finch and Bowen suggest that gossip "exercises mild disciplinary control over its members" (7), creating a consensual set of values that are then circulated and internalized. This is, indeed, a convincing reading, but it discounts the disruptive effect of gossip at the moment of utterance, the way in which it forces individuals to question their points of reference, even if the final narrative structure is one of recuperation.
25.
See Glenda A. Hudson, Sibling Love and Incest in Jane Austen's Fiction, who argues that sibling relations form a recurring model for Austen's representation of sexual desire. For an analysis of Emma, see pp. 50-55.
26.
Finch and Bowen argue that the function of gossip is recuperative rather than innovative in that it reveals narratives that are, in fact, already known: "At the level of the novel's plot, gossip frankly reveals the subject's 'secrets,' which, upon revelation, turn out to be universally known, overdetermined, and--as Mr. Knightley likes his neighbours to be--public and open" (12).
27.
Claudia L. Johnson also notes that this is a radical form of displacement. "In moving to Hartfield, Knightley is sharing her home, and in placing himself within her domain, Knightley gives his blessing to her rule" (143).

WORKS CITED

Armstrong, Nancy. Desire and Domertic Fiction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987.

Austen, Jane. Emma. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1966.

-----. Mansfield Park. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1966.

Bakhtin, Mikhail. The Dialogic Imagination. Trans. Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist . Austin: University of Texas Press, 1981.

-----. Rabelais and His World. Trans. Hélène Iswolsky. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1984.

-----. Speech Genres and Other Late Essays. Trans. Vern W. McGee. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1986.

Booth, Wayne C. "Control of Distance in Jane Austen's Emma." Jane Austen: "Emma." Ed. David Lodge. London: Macmillan, 1968. 195-116.

-----. "Freedom of Interpretation: Bakhtin and the Challenge of Feminist Criticism."

-64-

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 ...
Default project is now your active project.
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.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

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
Ambiguous Discourse: Feminist Narratology & British Women Writers
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
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?

Help
Full screen
/ 286

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access 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

    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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.