Irony in Forster’s Where Angels Fear to Tread毕业论文_英语毕业论文

Irony in Forster’s Where Angels Fear to Tread毕业论文

2021-04-02更新

摘 要

作为英国著名小说家E. M. 福斯特的第一部小说,《天使不敢涉足的地方》描述了一个英国寡妇与一个意大利男子结婚所引发的一系列的闹剧。反讽手法的运用不仅向读者展现了英国与意大利这两个国家之间不可调和的文化冲突以及英国中产阶级自我救赎的主题,并且为读者呈现了一篇精美的文学佳作。 本文借助叙事技巧来研究《天使不敢涉足的地方》中的反讽,主要从人物,情节,场景三个地方来探讨反讽在全篇故事中的运用以及所产生的效果从而进一步展现该小说的主题思想和美学价值。

关键词:E. M. 福斯特;《天使不敢涉足的地方》;反讽;并置;冲突

Contents

1. Introduction………………………………………………………………………1 2. Demonstration…………………………………………………………………….2

2.1. Ironic juxtapositions of characterization…………………………………………2

2.1.1. Two male characters: Philip and Gino—England and Italy……………………3

2.1.2. Two female characters: Caroline and Lilia—sense and sensibility………………..5

2.2. Ironic structures of plot………………………………………………………….8

2.2.1. Ironic conflict—rescue of the baby……………………………………………9

2.2.2. Ironic reversal—Caroline’s refusal to Philip…………………………………11

2.3. Ironic atmosphere of the setting………………………………………………..13

2.3.1. Theatre………………………………………………………………………..13

2.3.2. Church………………………………………………………………………..15

3. Conclusion………………………………………………………………………..16

Notes………………………………………………………………………………..18

Works Cited………………………………………………………………………….19

Bibliography…………………………………………………………………………20

Irony in Forster’s Where Angels Fear to Tread

  1. Introduction

As praised by The Times as “one of the most esteemed English novelists of his time” (Stallybrass i), Edward Morgan Forster (1879-1970) is best known for his ironic and well-plotted novels examining class difference and hypocrisy in the early 20th-century British society, with his humanistic understanding and sympathy expressed in his works. During his lifetime, he finished six novels: Where Angels Fear to Tread (1905), The Longest Journey (1907), A Room With a View (1908), Howards End (1910), A Passage to India (1924) and Maurice (1971) 1.

Quoting from “For fools rush in where angels fear to tread” by Alexander Pope 2, Foster gave his first novel the title of Where Angels Fear to Tread (1905). This story presents two widely divergent worlds set in England and Italy of which the only connection is the “romantic love and marriage” of a 33 year-old English widow Lilia and a handsome younger Italian man Gino. It is their union that brings the disagreement from the widow’s English in-laws, the Herritons who are attempting to break down this immoral bond. The conflicts and disparity between the two cultures engendering the immediate incompatibility is doomed to destroy Lilia’s fantasy of her marriage life which leaves her nothing but hopelessness and finally death of childbearing. To maintain the noble decent Family Herritons, Philip and Harriet, the widow’s brother and sister in-laws are appointed by their mother on their way to “rescuing” the child of this mixed marriage after its mother dies in childbirth. However, Harriet’s crazy and clumsy kidnapping leads to the baby’s death.

As Louis Auchincloss has pointed out, “The English tourists in Europe provided Forster with a subject peculiarly appropriate to his satirical but essentially gentle pen” (viii). Greatly inspired by the European theme of Henry James, Forster creates his own unique patterns of foreign themes to discover British inner world. Nowadays, foreign researchers studying Where Angels Fear to Tread mainly focus on the art settings, psychology of characters and family structures;Chinese researches, what’s more, pay more attention to the intercultural aspect,humanity and comparisons with other novels about cross-culture and foreign themes. As one of Forster’s typical fictions about the British middle class suffering the conflicts the cultural shock brings and their transformations the ill-natured, immature psychological states of mind produce, Where Angels Fear to Tread is often studied as an analogy with A Room with a View, which has drawn more ink in researchers’ pens. Although the narrative techniques in the novel have been studied, irony in this novel is rarely researched. The usage of irony is undoubtedly an important feature in Forster’s works, but no insightful study on irony about this novel can be found in the Chinese database. Through analyzing the employment of irony, this thesis will better demonstrate Forster’s central theme and aesthetic value of this novel.

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