A Critical Analysis of Androgyny in Lives of Girls and Women毕业论文
关键词： 《女孩和女人们的生活》 艾莉丝门罗 双性同体理论 双性同体特征 双性同体写作心态
Lives of Girls and Women is an eight-chapter novel. It is commonly regarded as a rare long novel created by Alive Munro. Followed by the plot of the novel, we will find out the colorful lives of the residents through the journey of reading it. The highlight of the thesis is that the author tries to reinterpret the technique term—“in-between” which is formally used to describe the embarrassing position of Canada into the present situation of Mrs. Morrison. Adopting the theory of androgyny, the thesis analyzes out the androgynous personalities embodied in the characters. Then the discussion switches into the personal experiences of the female writer—Alice Munro, we can clearly find out that Munro herself is a person with androgynous traits and she can create her works in an androgynous mentality. Finally, it can be concluded that an individual with androgynous traits will have a better personality, a stronger social adaptability and a higher level of happiness. It is better for an individual to live authentically and not be trapped into the traditional sexual binary. It is applicable for the process of literary creation. The fuller advantage of the androgynous mentality the writer takes, the greater works he or she will create.
Key words: Lives of Girls and Women, Alice Munro, the theory of androgyny, androgynous traits, androgynous writing mentality
1. Introduction 1
2. Demonstration 3
2.1 Androgyny in Male Characters 3
2.1 .1 Uncle Benny as a qualified father with creativity 4
2.1 .2 Mr. Jordan as a man with less ambition 6
2.2 Mrs. Morrison As a Typical Female with Androgynous Characteristics 6
2.2 .1 Mrs. Morrison’s embarrassing “in-between” position 6
2.2 .2 Mrs. Morrison’s profound insights concerning female’s sufferings 11
2.2 .3 Mrs. Morrison’s keen desire to acquire knowledge 14
2.3 Alice Munro’s androgynous writing mentality 14
2.3 .1 The important moments of androgyny 16
2.3 .2 Munro’s experiences connected to the novel 18
3. Conclusion 18
The Critical Analysis of Androgyny in Lives of Girls and Women
The paper is based on an eight-chapter novel—Lives of Girls and Women. The scenes in it are expanded from the perspective of an innocent girl who finally changes into a wise life observer after encountering so much. The content of the novel is just the lives of people in Ontario’s rural towns while it focuses more on describing women’s living conditions and psychological situations particularly. It records the sufferings which women have and lets readers hear the voices from women who seeks equality between the two sexes.
Lives of Girls and Women is written by Alice Munro, the first Canadian female writer who wins the Nobel Prize in literature, and she is recognized widely as “Contemporary Chekhov.” Munro herself is a female writer with the androgynous mindset and her writing mentality is consistent with the creative mentality proposed by Virginia Woolf in the theory of androgyny. In terms of the comment on male, she says that “[She] do think it’s plenty hard to be a man” (interview, November 20, 2012 ). In another way, she isn’t trapped in her identification of a female who needs to be limited in her family in traditional way. What’s more, She even asks his husband for an office to write and pursuit her career like a man do (Munro 38). Munro was never expected to win the Nobel prize in literature in China before. Cause it seems that there are many literary masters more excellent than her like Margaret Atwood, Carol Shields and so on. It also seems that Munro is not as outstanding as them no matter from educational backgrounds or personal experiences. The news that she wins has started a new wave of research in Munro and her works in China. This phenomenon is vividly called “Munro heat” in academic circles. Zhou Yi’s doctoral thesis “Canadian Studies of Alice Munro’s Short Stories” mentions the technical term “in-between” in the paper. This also reflects the gender concept which is in accordance with the aspects the author has researched. Munro is good at shaping unconventional figures. Ambitious mother and escapist father are the most typical examples with androgynous traits created under her pen. The paper “The Impact of Identity on Alice Munro’s Literary Creation” focuses on the relationship between Munro’s identity and literary creation (Gong 2009). This paves the way for the author to do more research on Munro’s experiences and her own personalities which gives impact on her androgynous writing mentality.