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作者:李靜雯
作者(外文):Amie Parry
論文名稱(外文):Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Critique of Feminine Domesticity: The Yellow Wallpaper and Herland
指導教授:丁乃非
指導教授(外文):Nai-Fei Ding
學位類別:碩士
校院名稱:國立中央大學
系所名稱:英美語文學系
舊系所名稱:英美語文學研究所
學號:87122001
畢業學年度:89
語文別:中文
論文頁數:74
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This thesis aims to examine Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s critique of feminine
domesticity in her autobiographical story The Yellow Wallpaper and utopian fiction
Herland to delineate her radical feminist and socialist view of
turn-of-the-twentieth-century America. My thesis begins from the survey of
American feminist scholars’ criticism of the two texts over the last three decades to
see how they establish Gilman’s works as feminist “cult texts.” By adopting Nancy
Armstrong’s view of the formation of modern domesticating culture, I interrogate
Gilman’s strategy of battle against the contractions of modern gender distinctions and
the limitations of the middle-class womanhood.
In Chapter One, I explore how Gilman represents an ambitious middle-class
mother whose aggressive individualism subverts the gender hierarchy underpinning
heterosexual monogyny. The narrator’s engagement with the imprisoned woman
behind the wallpaper constitutes a form of “work” which has been forbidden
undercuts her husband’s tyrannical control. However, although the narrator
eventually poses a demonic threat to the household, her reductive interpretation of the
wallpaper’s complexity and her fear of sex makes her unable to formulate an entire
independent identity but reduces herself to be a creeping animal at the story’s end.
In Chapter Two, I deal with Gilman’s discourse on motherhood and examine
her vision of new heterosexuality in her depiction of Ellador and Van’s love in
Herland. This chapter interrogates Gilman’s strategy of calling for legitimation of
women’s unpaid domestic labor by creating a separate women’s space guided by
essentially female values and concerns. I indicate that her discourse on motherhood
is primarily premised on the cultural authority that modern industrial society has
granted women. Therefore, the new female subject, the national space and new
heterosexuality she reconfigures all underscore modern gender identity. At the same
time, she enhances her ethics of liberation to a higher plane which is intolerant of
difference and rejects sexual desires.
Chapter Three brings out the imperialist/ racist problematic in Herland ignored
by the second-wave feminists. I show how Gilman’s discourse participates in the
imperialist rationale of turn-of-the-twentieth-century America as she attempts to
creates a feminist nation in an Aryan settlement in the South, asserting that women
can achieve full liberation associated with their cultural authority because the
civilization of the nation requires women’s birth control and their skill of child-caring.
My scrutiny of the two texts demonstrates that Gilman’s feminism is formulated
upon the negation of sexuality and repression of the Other. In order to foreground
the primacy of women’s economic autonomy, she constitutes a universalized gender
value and makes white women as its embodiment. Such an dissociation of gender
from its social and historical context, as Armstrong reminds us, not only fails to
recognize whose interests that the normative behavior serve but also ends up unable to
change its dyadic structure. The women’s liberation that her white virgin mothers
carve out is merely an illusory identity created by their class and racial privilege.
Introduction 1
Chapter 1 Claiming the Right to Work: Female Aggressive Individualism
in The Yellow Wallpaper 14
Chapter 2 “Coming Home to Mother”: Gilman’s Discourse on Motherhood
and Vision of New Heterosexuality in Herland 29
Chapter 3 Feminism, Imperialism, Racism and Nationalism 55
Conclusion 63
Works Cited 66
Ammons, Elizabeth. “Writing Silence: ‘The Yellow Wallpaper.’” Conflicting
Stories: American Women Writers at the Turn into the Twentieth Century.
34-43.
Armstrong, Nancy. Desire and Domestic Fiction: A Political History of the Novel.
New York: Oxford University Press, 1987.
Bartkowski, Frances. “Introduction.” Feminist Utopia. Lincoln: University of
Nebraska, 1989. 3-19
---, “Remembering and Inventing: Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Herland and Monique
Wittig’s Les Guerilleres.” Feminist Utopia. 22-45
Berkson, Dorothy. “ ‘So We All Become Mothers’: Harriet Beecher Stowe,
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and the New World of Women’s Culture.” In
Feminism, Utopia, and Narrative, eds. Libby Falk Jones and Sarah Webster
Goodwin. Knoxville: The University of Tennesse Press, 1990. 100-29.
Cott, Nancy. The Grounding of Modern Feminism. New Haven: Yale University
Press, 1987.
---, The Bonds of Womanhood: “Woman’s Sphere” in New England, 1780-1835.
New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997.
Ding, NaiFei (㆜乃非). “A Land Where Cats Do Not ‘Sing’: Herland in Taiwan.”(貓
兒噤聲的媽媽國:《她鄉》的白種女性禁慾想像) Working Paper in Gender/
Sexuality, Special Issue: Queer Politics and Queer Theory(性別研究:酷兒
理論與政治專號)3 & 4 ( September 1998): 324-43.
Donovan, Josephine. “Cultural Feminism.” Feminist Theory: The Intellectual
Tradition of American Feminism. New York: Frederick Unger Publishing
Co.. 31-64.
Foucault, Michel. The History of Sexuality, Volume 1: An Introduction. New
York: Vantage, 1990.
George, Rosemary Marangoly. “The Authoritative Englsihwoman: Setting up Home
and Self in the Colonies.” The Politics of Home: Postcolonial Relocation and
Twentieth Century Fiction. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996.
35-64.
Gilbert, Sandra M. and Susan Guber. The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman and
the Nineteenth Century Literary Imagination. New Haven: Yale University
Press, 1979.
---, “Home Rule: The Colonies of the New Woman.” No Man’s Land: The Place of
the Woman Writer in the Tweniteth Century, Volume 2, •Sexchanges. New
Haven: Yale University, 1989. 47-82.
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. Herland. New York: Pantheon, 1979.
---. “The Yellow Wallpaper.’” In The Charlotte Perkins Gilman Reader, ed. Anne J.
Lane. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1999. 3-19.
“Why I Wrote ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’?.” In The Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Reader. 19-20
---. Women and Economics: A Study of the Economic Relation Between Men and
Women ass a Factor in Social Evolution. New York: Dover Publications, INC.,
1998.
Gough, Van and Jill Rudd, eds. A Very Different Story: Studies on the Fiction of
Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1998.
Hedges, Elaine R. “Afterword” to the Feminist Press of “The Yellow Wallpaper.”
New York: The Feminist Press, 1973. 37-59.
---, “ ‘At Last Out’? ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ after Two Decades of Feminism
Criticism.” In Critical Essays on Charlotte Perkins Gilman, ed. Joanne B.
Karpinski. New York: G. K. Hall & Co, 1992. 222-33.
Hayen, Dolores. “Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Her Influence.” The Grand
Domestic Revolution: A History of Feminist Designs for American Home,
Neighborhood, and Cities. Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 1981. 182-205.
Lane, Ann J. “Introduction” to Herland. New York: Pantheon, 1979.
---. To Herland and Beyond: The Life and Work of Charlotte Perkins Gilman.
Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1997.
---, ed. The Charlotte Perkins Reader. Charlottesville: University Press of
Virginia, 1999.
Karpinski, Joanne B. “Introduction.” Critical Essays on Charlotte Perkins Gilman.
New York: G. K. Hall & Co, 1992. 1-16.
Kessler, Carol Farley. “Utopian Writing as ‘Cultural Work.’” Charlotte Perkins
Gilman: Her Progress Toward Utopia with Selected Writing. New York:
Syracuse University Press, 1995. 1-12.
Knight, Denise K. “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Charlotte Perkins Gilman: A Study of
the Short Fiction. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1997. 7-17.
Lanser, Susan S. “Feminism Criticism, ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ and the Politics of
Color.” Feminist Studies, 15 (1989), 415-41.
Parry, Amie(白瑞梅). “From Herland to QueerLand: The Homoerotics in
Feminist Utopia Longings.”(從她鄉到酷兒鄉:女性主義烏托渴求之同性情
慾流動). Working Papers in Gender/ Sexuality, Special Issue: Queer Politics
and Queer Theory(性別研究:酷兒政治與理論專號)3 & 4 (September
1998). 347-56
Pfaelzer, Jean. “A State of Her Own; or, What Did Women Want?” The Utopian
Novel in America 1886-1896: The Politics of Form. Pittsburgh: University of
Pittsburgh Press, 1984. 141-58.
Peyser, Thomas Galt. “Reproducing Utopia: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and
Herland.” Studies in American Fiction 20 (Spring 1992): 1-16.
Smith-Rosenberg, Caroll. Disorderly Conduct: Visions of Gender in Victorian
America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985
Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. “Three Women’s Texts and a Critique of
Imperialism.” Cultural Inquiry 12:1 (Autumn 1985): 241-61.
Valverde, Mariana. “ ‘When the Mother of the Race Is Free’: Race, Reproduction,
and Sexuality in First-Wave Feminism.” In Gender Conflicts: New Essays in
Women’s History, eds. Franca Iaverda and Mariana Valverda. Toronto:
University of Toronto Press, 1992. 3-26.
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