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The+Image+of+Emma+Shaped+by+Irony——On+Jane+Austen's+Feminist+Consciousness_图文

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研究生学号 密 级
t91506

郑州大学 硕士学位论文

论文题目: 作者姓名: 学科门类:
专业名称: 导师姓名、职称:

The Image of Emma Shaped by Irony

—On

Jane Austen’S Feminist Conscionsness

文学

英语语言文学
王胜利

教授

二零零七年五月

摘要

简?奥斯丁(1775一1817)是英国18世纪末19世纪初的一位重要女性小说家。 她先声夺人,在小说创作中率先发出了女性主义的呼声。长期以来,女性被剥夺了在智 力和文化上发展的权利和机会,因此世俗偏见认为,女性无论在个人或家庭生活中都没 有能力作出正确的选择,实现自由的意志。而奥斯丁一生共创作的六部小说均把年轻的 女性作为第一主人公,提到读者的第一视野,确立了女性身份,塑造了一系列崭新的女 性形象。同样,在其作品‘爱玛》中,作者塑造了一位年轻、漂亮、聪明、令人喜爱的 女主人公爱玛。作品《爱玛》自1816年问世以来,受到了众多研究者们的青睐。他们 大多集中在研究该作品的反讽艺术及人物形象的塑造等,而忽略了从反讽创作技巧的运 用塑造爱玛这一女主人公形象来揭示作者的女性主义意识内涵。本文借助女权主义批评 理论,分析了简?奥斯丁如何运用反讽手段塑造了爱玛这一形象,并且剖析了爱玛形象 所体现的作者的女性主义意识内涵。 论文共分为三部分: 第一部分探讨了简?奥斯丁反讽创作视角的形成。在18世纪父权制占主导地位的 文化传统之下,女性因被视为智力低下而几乎被剥夺了创作的权利。女性从事创作意味 着要经受心理和生理双重的巨大负荷。幸运的是,简?奥斯丁成长在一个相对宽松自由 的家庭,接受了良好的教育。简?奥斯丁阅读和写作的经历及其家庭氛围的影响,逐渐 促成了她诙谐、幽默的创作风格。而反讽正是她找到的、最适合她的启开这一风格大门 的钥匙。反讽就像简?奥斯丁蒙在她作品上的面纱,使她得以表达当时所不允许公开表 达的女性意识。 第二部分分析了作者如何运用结构反讽手段塑造了最不完美的女主人公爱玛。作 者娴熟运用反讽手段,使爱玛整部作品中错误不断却不自知。揭开爱玛身上的这层反讽 面纱,方能解读其形象的真正内涵。 第三部分是论文的核心部分,深刻剖析了爱玛形象所体现的作者的女性主义意识

内涵。

首先,爱玛形象体现了一种自由意识。作品中,爱玛远离男性世界的束缚,反映 了挣脱父制压迫的自由意识。同时,爱玛是富有的,这种经济上的独立自由无疑是她拥 有自由人格的一种保障。 其次,爱玛形象向婚姻发出挑战。女性的屈从、依附地位几乎总是通过婚姻完成 的。爱玛大胆的宣称她不想且不必结婚,反映了简?奥斯丁强烈的女性意识。简?奥斯 丁一生未婚,她以实际行动证明了她的女性立场。 第三,爱玛形象体现了一种当家作主的意识。爱玛是哈特菲尔德能干的女主人, 打理着家庭内外的所有事物。爱玛展现给读者的是一种“家庭的支柱”形象而不是依赖 的、屈从的“房间里的天使”形象。爱玛当家作主的意识还延伸到了整个海伯里,反映 了她要在一个更加广阔的舞台上实现自身价值的意识。 第四,爱玛形象向“永恒的女性美德”发出了抗议。在父权制社会中,女性要恪 守顺从、沉默寡言、谦虚等女性美德。事实上,这些女性美德束缚了女性的人格发展和 健全,使她们远离社会的主导权,是被用来从道德、心理和精神上压迫女性的工具。而 爱玛形象却体现了和这些传统女性美德格格不入的性格特点,表现出对父权主流文化的 抗议,反映了作者的女性意识。 第五,爱玛形象对“多才多艺”的女性模式提出了质疑。在18世纪,才艺对女性 尤为重要。她们竭力获得这些才艺从而增加自己在婚姻市场中的筹码。而爱玛却并不多 才多艺,她更注重追求健康的人格特点。她坦诚、自信、慷慨、充满想象力,体现了一 种令人向往的健康的人格品质,而不是一个了无生机的“才艺”模子。爱玛再一次向父 权制表现出了藐视和挑战。 通过以上论述,论文最后得出结论,奥斯丁运用结构反讽手段这层面纱成功塑造 了爱玛形象,并通过爱玛这一形象传达了作者本人的强烈的女性意识。了解作者这些女 性主义意识内涵有助于更客观、更全面地把握奥斯丁作为女性代言人身份的确立。

关键词:爱玛,

女性意识,

反讽,

简?奥斯丁

Abstract

Jane

Austen(1775.1817)is



distinguished womB.11 novelist at the end of me 18血

century and the early ofthe 19th century.She takes the lead in making the voice offcminism in her novd writing.For


long

time,womdl have been

deprived


of the rights

and

opportunities to develop themselves in mentality traditional

and

civilization.As

result,according to

prejudice,woln911

have

no

capability to make correct choices and fulfill tlleir

purposes freely either in individuality ofyoung women in all her six novds

or

in domesticity.But Austen

creates a

series ofimages

and

displays them firstly to the view ofreadership.Jane

Austen establishes the status ofwomen by creating the brand-new Austen shapes


images

of

female.Similarly,

young,pretty,bright

and#easing

heroine Emma in the work Emma.Since

1 81 6 when it was
conc.en仃ate on

published,Emma

has been deeply

loved

by researchers.They mainly

the study of the

art of kony

and

figural shapes

and

others of the work but
of Emma from the

ignore the

feminist

consciousness of

Austen

by analyzing the

image

perspective of irony.On the basis of connotations of

feminist

critic theory,this paper

tends to

reveal the

Jane Austen’3 feminist consciousness

by analyzing how Jane Austen shapes

the

image

of Emma by adopting the tool of irony.Furthermore,this paper

anatomizes

the

meanings

ofJaneAusten’s

feminist consciousness by analyzing the image ofEmma.

This paper consists ofthree paft¥: In the first part,the formation cultural tradition the

ofJane Austen's

ironical

p日印喇ve is explored.In the
age

dominated

by patriarchy of the 18m century,women

almost deprived of
choosing

right

of writing due to being

viewed as inferior in intelligence.A woman's

writing means to be

tortured

physically and psychologically.To her luck,Jane Austen grows

in fairly free family and玎,ceives good educatiom Austen gradually forms her humorous
satirical style ofwriting due to her

and
of

reading and

writing experience as well as the

influence

her family circumstances.And irony is the very,the most suitable key that Austen finds to the door of the

style.Irony

is

just

like



veil that Austen

COVeI'S on

her works and helps her to

at that time. express publicly her feminist conseiousrtess which is not permitted

The second part analyzes how the author shapes the flawed heroine Emma by adopting structural irony.By using irony skillfully,Emma is made to make mistakes again and again but be ignorant of them.By uncovering the veil of irony put readers know the real connotations ofthe image ofEmma. The third part,the hard
core on

the image of Emma,c锄

of the paper,profoundly

analyzes

the

feminist

c,onsciou¥nt嚣¥ofJane Austen embodied in the image ofEmma. First,the image of Emma reflects the consciousness of freedom.Emma

is缸away

from the astriction of the male world.This reflects Austen’s flee consciousness of
of overthrowing the oppression of patriarchy.Emma is also wealthy,and the independence

economic

status is without doubt the guarantee ofher selttlood.

Second,the image of Emma challenges adherence
alrc

marriage.Women's

status of

subjection

and

almost always c.,auscd and fulfilled by marriage.Emma bravely claims that she

doesn’t and needn’t marry,which reveals Austen’s feminist consciousness.Jane Austen keeps unmarried all her life and she proves her feminist standpoint by her own action. Third,the image of Emma embodies the consciousness ofbeing a housemaster.Elnnla manages all the businesses of Hartfield mad shows the reader Emma is the image of the backbone of the family but
all

image of capable mistress?

not the‘'Angel in the house".And

l!mma's consciousness ofbeing a housemaster extends to the whole rnghbury which reflects
that she is eager to realize her value in


broader stage.

Fo=Imlh,the image of Emma protests to‘'the eternal feminine Vii'rues".In patriarchal society,womell must obey the feminine viltneS,such as:obedience,taciturnity,modesty
Actually,these
cte.

feminine

virtues astriet the

development and healthiness of women’s

force personality and

wom∞to

be far away from the power of dominating

soeioty.They黜

the tools to oppress women in moral,psychological and

spintual

ways.But the image of

Emma just reveals her antipathetic aspca

to these‘'eternal

feminine virtues'’and shows her

protest to the dominating patriarchal culture,which shows the feminist a)nsciousness of

Ansten.
Fifth,the image of Emma questions the accomplished accomplishment is of

female

mode.In 1 8m century,
to

extremely

importance

to

women.They do meir umlost

obtain these
not

accomplishments in order

to add

the chip in the marriage market.However,Emma is

accomplished;she prefers
personality because of her mode

to pursue hcalthy personality.She

embodies



kind of yearning
not a dull

honesty,confidence,generosity and

imagination but

ofaccomplishments.Again,Emma defies
Based
On

and challenges the patriarchy system.

the above analysis,the paper finally concludes that

Austen

successfully

lransmits her own

feminist

consciousness through the image of Emma who is shaped by

adopting the structural irony which is served as the veil.To better know the connotations of
Austen’S

feminist consciouaness would help


readers to understand more

objectively and moro

generally Jane Austen's being

mouthpiece ofwomen at that time.

Key Words:

Emma,

feminist consciousness,

irony,

Jane Austen

Acknowledgements

First ofall,1 would like to express my sincere gratitude to my supervisor Professor and valuable Shengli.His continuing assistance,heartfelt encouragement strong support in my thesis writing. 1 would also like to acknowledge help,Professor Kang

Wang


advice

have been

Wang

Xiansheng for his wammearted supports and
in the Foreign Languages School of

Jianming and other professors

at the university. ZhengZhou University for their constant help during my study

I锄also

indebted to



number of my colleagues and thesis writing.

friends,who

have given me

persistent encouragement Finally I

and confidence in my

express my

thanks to my husband

and my other family members

for their love

and

all-out support in completing this thesis.

Introduction

Among the distinguished E1】羽isll novelists ofthe 1 9血century are several

H啪衄.0lle of ma嘶饥

1h咖is

Jane Austen.She is credited with having brought the

En掣ish

novel to its

Austen's strength li岱in her realism,in her and sensibility in

presentat/on

of the actual

problenm

ofbchavior

an

actual,eoncrete society.Her works,although small in

n啪b瓯are all of

high literary value.She conveys her personal values of love,marriage,money,mofali饥锄d particularly shows her
concerlls

for

women’s

life and condition,displaying her femillist

consciousness?In

the long rim,women have been

deprived

of the

rights觚d

ch觚嘟to
have
no

develop themselves in intelligence.So according to traditional ability to choose

prejudice,women Jane

correctly and

realize their own free determination,but

Austen sets up

the

identity

of heroine in all her six novels

and displays璐a
not desire

series of bfight,dev凹,

independent and channing heroines.She does

women

to

he

made
of

over

in the ilIla窖e

of men,since

she

does

not regard

men

a0

the ideal being of creation

the basic m血of

comparison.Whffll we read the

novel Emma.we also grasp

Ansten's蛔iJlist conscjo璐ne鼹in
atld谢虹cs. and
two

the heroine Emma,which is in some way ignored by resenrehers
Born
on

December 16,1775,the seventh ofeight children---six boys

gid卜-Jane

A瑚锄had
becaI娣her

mOre than enmmon father was


varied

contact

with the

limited
of

world of

provincial鲫时
in

country clergyman,the

rector

Steventon

the∞蛐tv

of

Hampshire in South-central England.She lived with her family to Bath when her father retired in

at Steventon until tllev

mOved

1801.A胁his death in 1805,she mow:d锄嘲d、jl,itll h盯

mother,and finally in 1809 they settled in Clawton,until in May 1817 she

mo喇t0

Winchestertobenearherdoctor.There shediedonl8
She was

Julyl817.

tutored

mostly at home,and irregularly at school,but she∞ceivcd



broad盯
dist棚1cc

education than many other women ofher time.Her early life was

uneventful孤d缸a

from the social and political

upheavals

of the

time.A

lively and affectionate family cirele



provided



stimulating
world took

context for her writing.Her own living

experience
as

and the nearby

countryside

such觚essential

part in her writing

to provide the settings.

characters and she was

subject matter

of her novels.She started to write for family amusement when



child and her earliest-known writings date from about 1787.During her lifetime,

she accomplished six novels in all,which afterward win the highest reputation for her in the literary field.They are Sense and

Sensibility(1811),Pride

and Prejudice(1813),Mansfield
Abbey and Persuasion we_fo

Park(1814),and Emma(1816).TWo other novels,Northanger
published posthumously in 1818 witll


biographical notice by her brother,Henry Austen,the

first formal announcement of her authorship.She also left two earlier compositions,a short epistolary

novel,蚴Susan,and an
and Prejudice and

unfinished novel,The

Watsons.The best known ofthem
is chiefly

are Pride

Emma.In her

fiction,she

concerned with the
gentry,counuy

middle-class life witll humor and understanding,depicting minor

landed

clergymen and their families.Most important for her are those little matters,as Emma says,
“on

which the daily happin嘲ofprivate life

depends",and

love

and

marriage are always of

top

concelll

ofher.The characters in Auston’s stories are bom intriguing and comical and her
ol'a

description of the

in

which

they take place creates




clear view of society in those


times.

Austen beautifully blends together behaviors of the

simple story ofa g砒and

documentation ofthe societal

time.It provides

insights into the life and social customs of a

lady

living in

the late 1 8血and the early 19th centuries. Emma,composed in only 14 months,from
clearly at the height of Austen's genius love stories,the most fiendishly

January

21,1814,to

March

29,1815,is

and

the Parthenon of fiction.It is‘q'he hap#嚣t of

difficult

of stones

and



matehiess repository of

En#ish

wit”——thus comments Ronald Blythe--erifie and writer,editor ofEmma.
Emraa,like Jane Auaten's other novels,deals with the

subject

of young ladies finding

proper

husbands.Emma Woodhouse

is



pretty9 wealthy,poised

and clever young woman.

The real worid is far different from her

ima舀n哪world,SO

she makes mistakes again

and



again in life.And she also learns



lot from life.Emma is Jane Austcn’s most fully

devdoped

and successful

creation

and

she is also the most morally flawed heroine ofAustcn’S characters,
or

she is not terribly wonderful

good but is close to being real and whole.John Henry 1837 that"Emma is the most

Newman

s协ted in



letter he wrote in

interesting

of Jane

Ansten’s heroines.and I

quite like her,I feel kind to her wherever 1 think ofher.竹 society and within the feminine point of vivid account ofher small world and
an

Within the chosen limits ofupper-middl.e-class
view for telling the

story,Jane

Austen does give

us a

active character that is most characteristic of her heroines in other novels.Among the six novels of Jane Austen,Emma is the only
one

which Jane

Austen

entitled with the heroine’S would

name,and
like but

in

which Jane Austen

creates the

heroine(Jane Austen said)‘whom

no one

myself'.Jane Austen purported
she has been really

to think that

Emma would

not be

much

liked,but in

the

event

adored

by

generations

ofreaders,for her

brilliance,wit,energy,
own

independence,fallibility,for her capadty to learn from finally

and recogniZe her

eITOrS,and

it驰锄s,for her willingness to
as

capitulate to



rational passion.All these aspects ofher

character admirers.

they emerge in the book have served to gain her

generation after generation of

Auaten
in


wrote to her niece

Anna(writing



novel

at

the time)that Wrhree offour families

country village is the very thing to work

011"(Le


Faye

275)and

stayed close to this for

most of her own works.Yet砒the same time,in

letter to her brother liRle

Edward(another
wide)of ivory

incipient novelisO
on

she

played
SO

down her

conoBr/g¥as"the

bit(two

inches

which

1 work

with
on

fine



brush,as

to produce little

effect,anef much labor.”Emma is

certainly the
fun

novel

the smallest piece of ivory with the


finest brush,yet it pokes as

much

and wields as

savage

knife

on

the social

conventions of Aumen's

England as any other

novelist

ofthe time. The

According to

New Encyclopedia Britannica,‘femimsm’,also called‘feminist
liberation

movement’or‘WOIIIOH’s

movement’.refers to

the social movement that seeks equal



rights for women.giving them equal status with and life patterns.It has its roots in the

inell

and fl'eedOnl to decide their own of the

ca“熵
the

humanism
as

18啦century

and

Industrial—Revolution.Women

had long been regarded

inferior to men physically and could not in their

intellectually.Both law and theology had ordered tlleir OWn
nallle8

subjection.Women

possess property,engage in business,Or control the disposal oftheir children and

even

t11eir OWn persons.Concerns for womcn's fights date蠡_om the Enlightenment The first

great feminist document was

Mary Wollstoneeratt’s

A li'mdiea疗on

of

the Rights

of Women

(1 792),which

challenged the idea that womell exist only to please

Incn

and proposed that

women receive the same treatment豁men in education,work and polities and be judged by
the same moral

standards埘tll

nlaflt's.A

modem milestone

in feminism was established by

Simone de Beauvoir,whose book,The Second Sex(1949),raised female consciousness by
appealing to the idea that liberation for woman wlEis liberation for man too。

Feminist criticism

lrOSe

up after

World War

II

as



literary branch of the feminist

inovailent,which set several aimslb including overthrowing the established conventions of western literature,breaking the patriarchal standards

oh which the

traditional literary criticism

WaS based,recovering and reevaluating the forgotten and neglected texts written by women writers,and establishing female
canons on

the basis of the study of woman--centered writing,
nlell

etc..Feminist critics believo that culture has been dominated by
that literature is full of unexamined

to such a

hi曲degree
had fewer

male.-produeed
one

aSsllml)tiOl3¥.Women

opportunities than mell to beCOITle writers for education in such things
even as

thin乎—fhey got much

less瓠嘲to

poetry,drama,and fiction that the male patriarchy valued.But write,melrl critics sometimes neglected thcif work simply becauso

when they managed


to

it came from

woman.Feminist critics also explore the cultural eonstxuetion of gender and

identity.In general,most American and French feminists,who

jointly

occupy tho dominant

position in feminist criticism,agree that women a伸constructed rather than

bom

to be what

they撤like.However,mey黜varied

in their approaches---American feminists tend to be



DlOl'e

mt口ested in political analysis ofliterary works,while French school

focuses蚰critical

theories extending to the reaches like psychoanalysis,linguistics,etc. There
are

fairly



large number of critical

documents

on

feminism,which provide

precious materials The works
on

and

inspirations for this paper. include numerous famous pieces from the earliest A Hndieation by

feminism

ofthe Righ招of Women,written
Elaine Showalter’S A Literature

Mary Wollstoneerafl,to
The/r

Kate

Mille.tt’s

Sexual Politics,

of

D朋吼Sandra M.Gilbert and


Susan Gubar’S The

Madwoman
structure for

in the Attw,etc.The whole ofthese works builds up

mniti-fsceted researching

the mass

ofdetailed

feminist problems.
criticism is
to"SUIIllnoIl up the

In general,the target of

feminist

anger of the Furies in
to

order

to

disturb the

complacent certainties of patriarchal culture and

create



less

oppressive climate for purpose of feminist

women

writers and

readers.”(Selden.13舢.In another

world,it is the
as

criticism

to

awaken

women's individual

ennsciotlsll雠,so

to

expose

the fraudulent valu鹤ofpatriarchy,break the shackles it has long since imposed

on

the

female
goal,

and

call for their resistance against the

unjust treatment

to them.Under the
on

conllnon

feminist criticism
subjects,such

has divided into



variety of sub-schools,which focus

different

research

as psychological feminism,Marxist feminism,ecological feminism,etc.


Among the lot of feminist literature,this paper only makes

brief review of some most

influential. V'trglnia Wool£the
British scholar,all early feminist,as


an

important precorsur of
the problems work is A

modern feminist criticism,wrote
especially material Room
ones

good deal about had to

wortlen'¥writing,examining

women writers

face.Her most famous feminist
the social

of

Dnej

Own(1929).in which

she

exposed

and

economical obstacles to

female writers,such as men’s
reality for their literary OWll writing

ideal of‘the Angle in the

House’for women and the miserable

ambition.In this book,Virginia woolf affa'ms that Wmen have thcir
had been

tradition,which

broken

off

as

the result of women's

having

been



oppressed,treated

as

mfcriom and excluded from education,professions and the public.She

also explores how images of women have been distorted in for the first

fictions

written by

men.Woolf,

time,in.educes her

own

experiences,to

create



new mode to express their ideas,

paving the way for later feminist criticism.

Simone de Beauvoir,The Second

Sex(1949),established

the fundamental questions of
ofthe

modem feminism.She argues(with other problems)that the difference
between the two
sexes

self-definitions

reveals

the basic sexual

asymmeIr)吨is

the One,she the

Other----and the idea of woman’s intellectual inferiority stems from man’s belief that
is

woman

such

by nature.She declares that“one is not t orn,but rather becomes
as



woman…”
until they

(Beauvoir 301).She believes that women ceuldn’t be

an equal"subject"as men

Kate

Millett’s

Sexual

Politics(1970)marked an important

stage of‘political’feminist notices

criticism

in literature.She makes the distinction

between‘sex’and‘gender’and

‘sexual polities’as the system of sex-role stereotyping in the unequal relation of domination

and

subordination.In the saml。book she

makes



major con仃ibu60n by

leading the critics in

criticizing literary works witll



feminist eye.

Elaine Showalter in A Literature

ofThOr D臃09803

examined British women novelists
that there must whole

since the Brontes from
be


the point ofview between

ofwomen’s expel"iL’llce.She believes
writing

profound difference

wonlen’s

and men'8)and observes that the

tradition of

female

writing had been neglected by male critics.This tradition is

divided

by

Showalter into three the

phases--the‘feminine’phase(1840-80).州m women

writers imitating
On

dominant

male protesting male values,and the‘female’phase,which emphasizes

specific female writing and female focuses
on

experience.She introduces the term“gynocrities"which
genres of

images,themes,plots,and

WOnlen

writers in

all

effort to

construct~

female

fi'amework for the analysis of women’s literature and

develops

new models based

on

the study offemale

experience…"(Showalter 1986).



The works mentioned above constitute only
influential crhicv3 documents such
as



tiny part in number.There

are

many other

John Smart

Mill's

The

Subjection of Women,Mary

Ellmann’s anti-phallic-criticism Thinking about Women(1968),Sandra M.Gilbert and Susan
Gubar’s The find

Madwoman胁the Attic(1 979),etc.As for the
Psychoanalys缸and

discipline.crossing works,we

can

Jlll缺Mitchell’s

Feminism(1975),Susan S.Lallser’s

Fiction

of

AuthoriO,:Women Writers andNarrative voice,and more. Similarly,the critical essays
have been
a or

books

on

Austen’s works are not small in number.There her writing techniques,For example,Andrew H.

large

number ofcritical essays

on

Wright'sJaneAusten Novels:A study加Structure(1961),H.S.Babb’sJaneAusten'snovels:
the Fabric

of Dialogue(1 962),Sir Walter

Scott

praised

Austen for her ability to render

"ordinary

commonplace

things and characters

interesting"(Calson 475);Richard Whately
to

claimed Jane Austen’s skill of dramatic characterizafion
Shakespeare

be‘'hardly exceeded

by

himself"(Tricker 106).G H.k研贸and



B.Macaulay regarded Ansten勰a Her
Art was published,

Shakespeare in prose.In

1939.Mary Lascelles’s Jane

Austen and

which gave
respectively irony and



comprehensive analysis of Jane Austen and her works.Since then,critics have
on

focused

the novd from the asplects of

language

style,structure,characters,

humor,narrative style and

the sociological background

ete.D.W.Harding,in

his

famous article‘'Regulated Hatred:An Aspect ofthe

Work ofJane Austen"(1940),analyzed
view of

Jane Austea'¥irony from
received full-length

the

angle ofpsychology.The

Ansten

as

an isolated
as

ironist

exposition in Marvin Mudrick's Jane

Austen:Irony

Defense and angle.

Discovery(1952).Lionel Trilling commented On JalleAnsten's irony from
Jane Austen’s novds
arc

the cultural

criticized generally bcx3auso

of their limitations--always affairs,in spite ofthose

describing the domestic world ofdrawing room¥,manners

and female

important social events ofher age,such

as

French

Revolution and Napoleonic

Wars,but she is Austen,"of all

really very

capable in her own small sphere.Just like Virginia

Woolf said

of

great writers she is the most

difficult to catch in

the act of greatness”("Jane Austen at sixty"



15).
Since the late 19705,feminist criticism has been


powerful and



shaping force in Jane the

Austen

criticism.Patricia

Meyer

Spacks’s The Female and

Imagination(1975)inaugurated
as all

mode of feminism

criticism.Taking Pride

Prejudice

example,Spacks argued that change.In Jane Austen,
novels in the context of

Austen’s heroines were the Feminism and

first in English fiction to undergo Kirkhaln put

Fiction(1983),Margaret

Jane Austen's

eighteenth century feminist ideas and ofthe Feminist Controversy at the turn ofthe eighteenth

century,suggesting that Jane Austen shared much witll Mary
David

Wollstonecraft's

feminist

ideas.

Monaghan

in Iris Jane Austen
011

in a Social

Context(1981)explored Jane

Austen's

feminist

ideas from her view

the

status and

marriage ofwomen in the eighteenth century.

Other critics also have

utilized

feminism

to analyze

Jane

Austen

and her works,such

as

Virginia

Woolf's

The Common Reader:First the

Series(1925),Claudia L.Johnson's Jane
papers also

Austen:

Women,Politics,and
consciousness of
con¥ciol4sne3s,Hu

Novel(1988).In China,some
For

touched

the feminine
Feminist

Jane

Austen.

example,Chen

Hui’s

Jane Austen

and

Min’S Thefirst

voice

ofFeminist Literature:A Feminist Analysis ofJane

Jane

Austen’S

stock In

the literary marketplace has never been higher than late in
Hollywood has

twentieth century,when
adaptations news
on

even

attached itselfto
are

her rapid rise in popularity,and

stage,screen,and keep

television

emerging

in

such

qniek succession that the

media ean hardly

pace.Pride and Prejudice,Sense
one

and Sensibility,Persuasion and

Emma were

edited into welcomed films

by

one.

Although

Emma

is less popular

than

Pride

and Prejudice,it
Blythe

is

also



very

successful
is"the

novel.Some critics,such as"Mark

Schoz惯',Ronald

etc.even

think that

Emma

climax of Jane Austen’s genius and the

Parthenon

of fiction".In the work

Memo护and
wonderful,

Correspondence ofSusan Ferrier(1898),Susan
every character
is quite vivid.In

Ferfier thinks that

Emma is very

1939,Mary Lascelles analyzed

Emma in her book Jane



Austen andHerArt.In 1948,F.R.Leavis mentioned that readers should grasp the ofEmma from the perspective ofmorality.In Emma wag In Janet

excellence

1965,w.A.Cr-ailq in

Jane Austen.praised that
not all the praising.

Austen’s

best novel,almost

perfcct.However,Emma receives

Mullane’S Nineteenth—Century Literary Criticism(1988),The
out

British novelist

Anthony points

that Emma is boring,some dialogues are too long and unnecessary.
On

Researches and critical essays

Emma are less than

on

Pride and

Prejudice but mole

than Austen’s other

four novels,such

aS

D.Lodge's

Jane

Austen"s"Emma"-a Selection Austen’s

of

CriticalEssays(1968),Wayne C.Booth’s‘Control ofDistance in Jane
The Rhetoric scholars also

Emma in his

of Fiction(1961),J.E contribute
to

BUITOWS"S

Jane Austen'Emma’f1969).Chinese
concentrate on

the study ofEmma.Most ofthcm
etc.,for

the analysis ofits

irony,characterization,structure Austen,Emma
is

example:In

Zhu Yanmin’s On the Irony

ofJane

taken

as a

subject

tO illustrate the use of irony

in Austen’S fictions.Dong

Na’s From Innocence to

Maturiy--on thepsychological Growth ofEmma Woodhouse,etc..

From the above mentioned studies

on

Jane Auston and her works,we know that scholars


research Jane Austen's feminist consciousness from
Pride and the novel

general perspective

or mostly

take

Prejudice as



subject tO

illustrate her feminist

consciousness.They ignore that,in

Emma,Austen’s

feminist consciousness is also revealed

and

maybe stronger.In

reading of Emma,the author of the paper learns the

author's

feminist

consciousness in the

"most
Jane

flawed”heroine

Emma,who is shaped by kony,and irony hem

served勰the intends
tO

veil

for

Austen tO express her feminist consciousness

publicly,So this thesis

explore

how Jane Austen subtly

and indirectly麟pI_e:ss嚣her feminist consciousness through the u∞


of irony in shaping the heroine Emma.This thesis is hoped to go understanding Jane Austen's
There
are

little further in

feminist oonscionsness

in a more

complete

and a02nrate way.

thrce parts in the thesis.First,on the baSis Austen’S family

of the social

and

literary contexts

for women's

writing and Jane

background,the author of the paper tries to writing

reveal how irony

served

as

the veil

ofJane Austen's

and analyze the formation ofJane

lO

Austen’s ironic

paq瞄tive.Then,the

author of the paper will explore how Jane Austen

shapes the heroine Emma through her structural irony.In the last,also the most important part of this thesis。according to challenge to marriage

Emma’s

consciousness of freedom

and

being



housemaster,her

and‘the

eternal feminine virtues’and her

challenge to accomplishment,

the author will try to reveal the feminist manifestation in the heroine Emma.

Chapter I

The formation of Jane Austen’s ironic perspective

1.1 The Social and Literary Contexts for Austen’S Age
Cenerally speaking,women took l|p writing in
all

Women’S Writing

in Jane

unfavorable situation in the eighteenth

century.The tradition offemale education was not strong--ouly those girls who were born in


rather wall-off family would be lucky enough


to have the opportunity to be sent

to∞hool

Or

have

governess,but

the

knowledge

taught to them Was

confined

in the realnl of that kind 1 8m century was

helpful to their future

married life.Women’3

arrival in literature in the

frequently

seen

as



threat to

hegemony.There

were positive factors
for

at that

time encouraging

women,s

writing,such勰the growth of a
Protestant

rudimentary education
on

an

increasing number of

leisurad women,the

emphasis

the vernacular and the importaace of the

individual soul and the etc..The most

Enlightenment’s

appealing

for‘equality',‘liberty'and‘democracy',
Mary Wollstonecrafl.In
1792,she

influential Was

the feminist efforts made by Rights

published A vindication between the male

of the

of

Women,in which she argues that the difference

and

the

female is not
equality

c.allsod

by

nature but by a false

system of education.

Wollstonecrafl appealed evokad
these

for

between

the剐努嘴in politics and education,ete.which
and valu鹤.All
Fanny Burney Persuasion got

wide repercussions.1eading to WOlllen’s reconsidering their status factors contribute to

positive

WOUlen’s

writing.From

1788,when
Ably and

published Evelina,to 1818,when Jane
published,female writers produced


Austen’s Northanger

great variety ofinteresting and memorable fiction.

Despite ofthe above mentioned positive factors,negative factors really

dominated

in the

eighteenth century in

womell'¥writing.

In western literary tradition,the writing画fI and right had been conferred to the male for

arl

unimaginably

long time.The relationship ofdomination-subordination between Adam and long before the standing relationship

Eve in the Old

Testament had predicted

between the

two

sexes

in the patriarchal constitution.The English liWrary critic David Monaghan sharply
out in

pointed

his essay‘Jane

Ansten and

the Position of

women’that‘'Women

can

rarely

have been held in lower esteem than they were at the end ofthe

18血centu矿(Monaghan 62).

Women

found

no

opportunities for

education and seiLassertion
to thdr

but to be confined in domestic

life and to be

subservient and obedient
to tlleir lack of

husbands.THUS,women WCl"e excluded

from

job

opportunities due


formal education,(except those few limited ones of
be

being

gnvcmess

or a

lady’S

companion)and wore instructed to

the‘'angel

in the house"

(Woolf,‘'Professions'’168).which is

made quite clear by the following

representatives:James
s麟for the most

Fordyce observes that‘'Nature appears to have part with less "do not
SO

formed

the faculties of your

vigor than those

of OURS";in
as



similar vein,Hannah More claims that women
seize


much generalize协cir ideas

men,nor面Ⅱleir minds

great

subject with

SO

large



grasp".This

prejudice

was

so

deeply-rooted in the

society that those


women

who

might offend against

nature by cultivating her

mind were advised to‘'keep it


profound
011 a

secret,

especially from the men,who generally look witll

jealoUS and malignant

eye

won'lan of

great parts,and



cultivated

understanding".ThUS,they are deprived
to be

ofthe fight

to

understand

history,polities.Men received women and
better

are

considered

logic,reasonable,intelligent because llley have

education

and read bettor books

such

as

classics,history and politics while
only work their sampler at

are short

oflogic,reason,intelligence because they
aro

home,

reading novels,which

slandered

to be

vulgar,shallow,and morally destructive.
in the following

The spirit of that age

c缸be summarized

statement,made

in 1794,

wrhcre is inequality in the sexes;and
t0 be

for the better economy ofthe

world,the men,who were word.a most

the lawgivers,had the larger share ofreason bestowed
not only

upon them.”In



popular idea ofthat time WaS“women

are but should be the intellectual inferiors of
of genteel classes to ptH'sue frivolous

men"(Monaghan 62).This

notion impels

women

and

13

superlieial accomplishments for the final plll'pOSC

ofm砌'iage.

hl fact,womcll’s low social status and their own

s黜of

inferiority not only restricted

their physical freedom but also confined their spiritual expression. It WaS very hard for women to write under the highly oppressed social and literary conditions of the 18m century.The patriarchal culture had deprived the female of writing authority since the Greek and Roman times when literature originated.Aristotle declared that "the female is female by virtue of certain lack of qualities",and women

were‘kindly'

exhorted to those activities which would ltire them onto the destructive way of losing their

femininity一‘the

whole charm of the

female’.Writing

practice WaS

undoubtedly∞ch蛳

activity that WaS viewed penis for pen.

as

beyond the scope of women due to the phalloeentrie metaphor of

It w勰acceptable for



womall

to

read.but it was considered improper for her to write.

Writing

itself then WaS

11

rebellious act鹤it required women to蚓ect the ideal of femininity.

In Virginia

Woolf's

classic essay 013.'women and fiction,Room

ofOne's Own(1928),she
and


pointed out that in order to.write fiction,a wonlan should
l'001n

have柚independent income

ofher own.She considered.however,that the main obstacles faced by the woman who

would write

w啪the‘Angel

in the

House’(the Victorian ideal ofthe

self-saerific:ing woman)

and the dittieulty ofwriting honestly about her physical,sexual self.

Not only writing but even trying
wolnlln to vcnttlre into the

to publish her works WaS especially unacceptable.For a

public撇a勰fill

author w勰sometimes regarded


118觚arrogant
as

pretension.Publishing her own writing could threaten

WOlnltn’¥reputation

well

as

her

social position.For any wonlan’the fame of authorship could bceomc infamy,and nOVelS

w铘particularly

reprehensible.Proper women

should be

modest,i℃-tiring,essentially

domestic and private.Authorship of any kind entailed publicity,thrusting oneself before the
public q悟_thus loss offemininity.These with pseudonyms
or

prejudices led many women

to publish their work8

simply anonymously,for example,Jane Austen,it was her brother Henry

14

that made her authorship public after her death.The Brontes

and

George Eliot,and other

women writers,used their pen names.This is made explicit when Henry T.Austen said ofher
sister,JaneAusten,in The BiographicalNotice,
“So

much did

she shrink from notoriety,that nO accumulation of fame would have induced her,had

she lived,to affix her name to any productions ofher

pen■"In

the bosom ofher own family she talked

ofthem(her works)freely,thankful
she turned away from

for praise,opell to

n嚣n矾L

and submissive to criticism.But in public

any allusion to the charac缸ofan authores&”

Furthermore,very shy about her
becausc this

writing,she目v'en

wrote

on

small pieces of paper
or

made

it easier for her,ifinterrupted,to slip them into



drawer

under



blotter.

This

phenomenonjust corroborates

the theory of‘anxiety ofauthorship’,which was proposed

bySandraM.GilbertandSusanGubarin孙P朋缸子啪—埘行intheAttic.
“Since both patriarchy

and its

texts

subordinate and面lpri潮women,before wolneu
they must

Call even

attempt

that pen which is 80

rigoro碡ly kept from them

escapejmt

those male texts wl!lich,defmhlg them

all‘Ciphers’,deny

them

the autonomy to formulate alternatives to the authority that has imprisoned

them

As



result,moat women gave up their ambitions in order to protect the more valuable

womanliness.That is why the number of women writers increased drmnatically throughout
me 18伍century,but only the most visible ofa large mass the

ofwomen who rushed into

print at

end

ofthe

18血century.

1.2 Jane Austen’S Family Background and Education
1.2.1 Gro、)I,ing Environment
In spite ofthe fact that

young women

ofthe eighteen-century England WerO forced

at all

early age to conform exclusively to the feminine ideal,Jane relative freedonl

Austen,however,enjoyed



in her family which provided her oppommities of good education and
ironic talent in her writing.

development ofher

15

Jane

Aust甑the

seventh of eight cllildren and the second

Ansten

daughter,WaS

b叫l伽

Dec曲曲盯16,1775,in
wag


the village of Steventon,Hampshire,England.The Austcn household

of literature,and often discussed it lively and literary one.They we∞avid readers circle.Jane

w油证the family

Austen's

mother wrote conlic

versos

and several ofher

brom哪

wrote刚rical sketch嚣.The entire rarity was also fxequently involved in drama performance
锄ong tlle衔锄ds
and family circles,which Was


of the vogue in the latter part

eight嘲th
who had

鲫帆J娜Austen benefited
dau蛳er,s
wllich was

most from her father,the

Rwerend

George

Ansterh

graduatcd from St,John,s College,Oxford.George

Austen

took great responsibility for his

education.He was


an

accomplished master ofthe art ofreading aloud to the f.锄ily,
current

mea基m ofthe hi#standard ofculture
to

in the Ansten circle?Jane

Austen

l础ed a倒deal just from listening
鲥ding J黜Austen,s
voh珊嚣of
bis

him.George Austen offered the

valuable service in

reading.He showed Jano.how to find her way about library,from which Jane her.George

the觚hⅧ捌
pick
out books‘

consid蹦|bIe large
likely

Austan learned

to

that啷most
taste

to印peal

tO

Ansten

especially inspired Jane in her literary

by

talking t0 her on literary

subjects.It

was her father who woke her feeling for language

锄d sMe∞that she appreciated them in

the work ofothers

and

cultivated them in h盯own?

AⅡ10ng lhe A璐t咀boys,the eldest brother James

and the younger Henry,who graduated AnsWn much in
her literary creation?

胁St.John's College,Oxford,influenced
J锄c&who
had


and helped

Was

ten years

older than Ansten

and

had literary taster and intellectual
at

int舶袖,

large

sha∞in

directing her reading

and

forming her taste.While


Oxford,James and w嬲

his螂mger

brother,Henry,edited

and issued

literary

nlagazine)The厶泐讥h
editor of
The

supposcd蝴Austen's first published pieoe WaS
in



letter

to the

Loiterer,p血t。d

1788.H朋珊、衲o

Was Jane's favorite

among her brothers,acted as Jane’s agent by helping

her to

publish her manuscripts?

Bm than Jane

d韶瞄t Of all to the
and

heart

ofJane Was

her sister Cassandra,who was two years older

be their sisterly affection for each other could scarocly

exceeded?During

all her

16

life,Jane and Cassandra wcrc l'oommates,confidantes,and companions.They

enjoyed

the

mutual acceptance,trust,sympathy and affection.According
once

to onc

family story,Mrs.Austen

declared that if Cassandra was going to have her head mat

oil;Jane

would insist

on

sharing her fate too.This attachment was neV盯interrupted 01"weakened until they WClrI。 separated by death. In 1783,Jane and her sister Cassaodra,at the early ages of
seven

and nine,Wclre sent,

witll tlleir cousin Jane Cooper,to Oxford,to be educated by Mrs.ARllC Lawley.The experiment WaS
not a

SltlC,C船¥with

any ofthe children.Not long after their arrival in Oxfora,

the three children contracted typhus.The girls recovered to hcalth,but Jane Cooper’s mother,

Mrs.Austen’s

sister caught the disease while tending to the

girls锄d

died.In

1784.Jane觚d

Cassandra resumed their education at the Abbey Sch001.In the December of

1786.theyⅥ惴

taken back home at Steventon.Thus,Jane Austen ended her formal education and spent her
rest of childhood and youth at

home.It WaS

at

horne,in the evenings amid the needle work

and other domestic

activities.Mr.Austen

read aloud.Some

timeⅥ髑probably


devoted tD the

utility of‘'improving con'cel'sation'’.In addition,the Austcns wefe Though she w勰completely isolated

novel-reading family.
never

from literary friendship.and

in touch with

professional writers 01"critics,Jane Austen’s compensations Were almost unique.Inheriting the culture ofthe classics and


respect for style from generations ofdistinguished university


men,she grew up in the midst of her father’s pupils 8rid

family

in which an loved books,

some of them WCrC fluent penmen,sharing her thoughts,her interests,and ambitions,and above a11.she was blessed with
a 5eIISC

ofhumor and the love for fife.

Generally speaking,Jane Austen grew up well read in the Eilglish classics,prose and poetry,with


reasonable knowledge of history and French,solnl。acquaintance with Italian

and,above all,able to express herselfin her OWn language with esse,。IICCIII'IIc:y and polish.h fact,whatever Jane might say,she had


very good kind ofeducation,that whiela


COllieS

from
fill

living with clever people and particularly from the company of

clever father who WaS

17

accomplished master of this

art,锄admirable

reader alike of novels and plays and poems.


including some ofthe masterpieces ofEnglish literature.In such

growing environment,Jane

Austen’s education,characters,outlook and special ironic talents gradually(1eveloped and took shape.

1.2.2

Reading and Writing Experience Juvenilia(short tales,sketches,fictional
letters,scraps ofepistolary novels, Jane Austen WaS

Jane Austen’s

bits ofplays,some highly imaginative English

history)showed that器a gifl

already well-read.And just at that time when she was in her teens her literary taste was set.In Jane Austen’s reading,two

subjects

appealed to her most:literature and history.And her

literary reading WaS more extensive and her literary

judgments

much more characteristic.

When

she WaS in her teens.she had read most ofwhat wele always to be her favorite books,

and her taste WaS pretty well fixed.She knew the great eighteenth-century writers:Addison

and Johnson,Sheridan and Goldsmith,Richardson and Fielding alid Sterne and Fanny Burney.
She Wills amused by Fielding.As


matter offact,Fielding’s unillusioned perception ofhtmaan

weakness and the robust but well-bred irony witll which he expressed it should have appealed
to her,for her own had

something in common witll it. was addicted
to

In literary

reading,above all,Jane Austen

novels

of all kiilds.

Richardson was her favorite novelist and she knew his works intimately,at the samt。time she

read枷the

fiction she could get her hands on.Several types of novels wcl'e populal'during
as

the late 18th century.One ofthem was the Gothic novel,represented by writers such

Horace

Walpole and

Ann Radeliif,which

nlcans

to instill horrifie thrill in its

read鹪through

magic

and mystery.Another popular type ofnovel Wills the novel ofm{mners,which is the category
to

which Austen’s novels

belong.The llovel

of

lTlannel's

was concerned wim

social

conventions and decorum.usually presented wim Fielding,Fanny Burney,and



comlc twist.Besides Austen,Henry

Maria

Edgeworth's novels represent the genre.A third type of

novel was the sentimental novel in which the main characters were presented嬲especially

lS

affected and overtaken by acute,usually inflated emotions.Samuel Richardson’S Pamela is

all

example of the sentimental

novel.Although still
all

all

emerging mad new genre,novel reading

during Austen’S age WaS becoming for the literate leisured class.As fiction wim the critical eye of

increasingly popular means

ofentertainment,especially sentimental

all

adolescent she already viewed popular and



satirist.

Accompanied with reading,writing appears to have been part

ofAusten’S

everyday life: she

when she didn’t write novels.she wrote extensive letters to her sister and

nieces.When
to say

Was in her teens,she was

spending



large part ofher time in writing.She

used

in later

days that she wished she had not:she would have done better to

have

spent her time

educating

herselfbyreading.“Imayboastmyselftobe,with allpossibleVanity,themostunlearned&

uninformed
and

Female who ever dared to be an

Authoress.".Although Austen wa蜘l't"unlearned

uninformed'’her

letter to the Royal librarian

James

Startler Clarke in 1815 revealed her

daringdancewithwordsandideas.AccordingtothebiographyofJaneAuatcn:weknowthat
she lived in


very nalTOW despite

social circle(she moved mainly


among people ofher own
observed

social

standing),but

this,she Was

well-informed

woman,who


her age through

the spectacles ofirony and radical and in
or

commented 011 what she SSW with

critical tongue.Her art was not

innovative

compared to her

contemporaries,she adhered
4 Families in


to the

convenfiom
Faye

ofprose,

thematic

range preferred“3

or

Country

Village'’0e

275).But

despite the charges

oflimited range and domesticity
as a

ofher novels,Austen's writings present a

"challenge to the idea ofsociety enlightened social

civilized force

and

the image ofman’S fulfillment

as雅

heine’(Southmn,‘'Jane Austen"102).
as

Jane Austen’S writing style is

admirable for its lively humor,its delicate satire,its

good鲥=1]【se'its kindness,its truth to nature,as for its plots.She has

form.She

is

distinguished

for simple

created
as

vivid and lively characters by employing different kind of writing

techniques,such
arranged

carefully

presented so∞es,skillfully developed
skills

plots,appropriately

dialogues,excellent language

and

the technique of

omniscient muratormall

19

these ensure

her鲫cce豁in

creating characters.


The Eighteenth?century writers especially cultivated面ony;it is which suited the strengths of the between


form of expression
on a

eighteenth-century mind,since

it depends

balance robust

tough

skepticism

about human nature in its capacity to deceive arrive at

itselt:and a

缸Ⅱl
and

in the

capaeity ofhuman reasorl to

truejudgments,given

good

s髓蹁good

will,

adequate self-knowledge.Swift used irony extensively to expose the con.trast between




mail’8 idea ofhimselfas

social

being,and his appearance

to a

mind which chooses

to ignore

his social pretensions;Fielding used irony

to expose the contrast between

the way society

behaves and the way it professes to behave,between sham morality and true morality. In ironic writing,Henry Fielding

exerted great influence upon
Maria

Jane

Austen.She was also

influenced
witll Mary

by

Mary WollstonecratL

Fanny Burney and

Edgeworth.She sharod much

Wollstoneerafl in female education and

the equal订ghts of

women.Austen

especially appreciated Mary

Wollstonecraft’s

defiant

laughter

at the

folly of the mog-t

prejudices

against women by bringing antifeminist voices into her text.She

shared丽th

Fanny Burney,a

generation

older

than

herself,and

Maria Edgeworth,her

contemporary writer

the views that

women and

had those

8flme‘powers

of

111ind’船m%.She


learned from them to ofview

view the mannel'S

morals ofthe patriarchal family from

female

point

and

their

handling ofthe novel勰domestic comedy.

From the very start,Jane Austen Was herselfas about other people.She wrote to
twelve

all

ironist and just as
her family

ready to be ironic about

anluse

and

her friends.From the age of of her

Jane

had

written sketches and

short stones for the

amusement

family.Many
order to

authors

start writing in order to relieve

their private feelings but Jane
early works were

Auaten began in

contribute to family

entertainment.Her

examples

of a family activity

and

expressionsofafamilyoutlook.Hermotherwrotecomicverses,severalofherbrotherswrote
satirical sketches.Another ofher nieces,Edward’s daughter

Marianne,remembers

her sitting

sewing by the fire ofa winter's evening.Suddenly she would burst out laughing,jump up,run

across

to the writing table and scribble down a sentence

there;then without explanation,she

would opine back and reslmle her seat by the fire.It is the angle of her humorous vision,the light of her ironic ofthe world.Jane

anlus锄ent

that gives its distinctive sparkle and perspective of her picture
and the consistent irony ofher attitude make her

Austen’s ennc宅,Tn for truth

wonderfully impartial.

1.3

Iron)’一Served

as

the Veil of Jane Austen’s

Writing

1.3.1 The Death ofMary

WoolstonecraR
Vindication was first

矾%Mary Woolstonccrafi’S
Austen
was sixteen.A new political


published

in

England in

1792。Jane

philosophy,liberalism,emerged

in the eighteenth century,

to promote the idea of human fights,yet
believe that

O/en

the most radical of the male liberals

tended

to

these‘fights’applied

to

the male of the¥pecies

only,and
was

that

women

werc

‘naturally’weak intellectual and

and

in need of protection.Mary
who

Wollstonccrafl

one

member of this

political movement

extended

the ideas of liberalism to her OWn

s瓿.In

the Hndication Mary Woolstoneerafl conditioning and

argued

that WOlllen’s weakness was due to social
equality of education to both girls and

could

be

corrected

by

extending all

boys,to
read

be

followed

by equal tights equally widely

and

opportunities in all spheres.The book was widely grew up and

and praised,but

attacked.In fact,Jane Austen

b∞锄e



novelist in the following decade when the Feminist Controversy was at its

height.Mary

Woolstonecrafl’s

Hndication

received

attacks丘om the

anti?feminist

in the next several years;

especially After Godwin’S publishing

Memoirs ofthe Author era

Hndication

ofthe

Rights

of

Woman in January 1798.In the book,the facts of Mary

Wonlstonccrafl’s unconventional and
in the

adventurous sew’ral

fife WOI'O made open,which

included involvement

French

Revolution,

love affairs,one illegitimate child and two suicide
as

attempts,and she Was attacked as
anti.feminist backlash rediscovered

much for her lifo
to let loose,and

for her views.All these caused the full fury ofthe

her work was

shunned,e~,en

by

avowed

feminists,until it was

2l

in the twentieth century. The very topic of feminine

independence

and the merest

hint

of female

sexual

incontinence became
articulate the

virtually taboo at that time.In this condition,it was hard for women to case.It was almost impossible to discuss any feminist ideas

feminist
use

openly.So
it

Jane

Austen’S

ofirony should be

se胁as



way to protect her from personal

attack.and

also enabled her to say what was

unsayable

in public otherwise.As

pointed

out

in the essay:
tell the truth

Postscript:Jane Austen and the Critical Tradition,"Jane Austen through


learned to

ridding irony which‘dull elves’might misread,but which she hoped readers of ingenuity would not.”In this way she may reveal the private thoughts of her
to engage the

s朗∞and

character and seek

reader’S feelings wim them.
as

1.3.2

Irony---Served

the Veil ofJane Austen’S

Writing
Jane Austen’S
the Veil

On the basis of the social and literary

contexts

for women’s writing and

family background and education,it’s
ofJane Austen’s writing.

not

difficult

to understand why irony

served as

Maria Edgeworth,in the correspondence betw∞ll

first翻gction of her book Letters to Literary Ladies,which is



two men,one ofthe

correspondents,the‘‘Gentleman,'’gives

advice

to the other 011 the birth ofhis daughter.The Gentleman tries to pel'suade his friend his daughter an
things through

not to give

education,arguing:"We See things


as they are;but

wonlen

must always s∞

veil.or

cease

to be women.竹This ironic


comment骶娜to accurately
ofwomen.It is another
that

describe

the

prevalent

attitude as

wish to impede the very perception
to

way of saying that

knowledge

is

forbidden fruit

women,and

women

who ate of this

fruit not only sinned,but

forfeited thor right to

be wolnen. in

William

Hayley

portrays literary

incompetence
in


his Essay

on

OM

Maids.The and


protagonist in this parody lives

alone

country town,maintaining

herself

single

female servant∞a

scant

income

and

spending her days in"idle pursuits

and

frivolous

inquiries…sending her thoughts abroad...a perpetual spy on the。conduct ofher n949hbors".

She is



gossipy old maid,part of a‘'sisterhood"of gossips whose curiosity has become

proverbial,the narrator says,as they spend their days"peeping and prying into every minute article

of.一(their neighbors’1 domestic

concefns.”This gossip is the

soBrce

of their writing,

of‘'the fertility of their pious and romantic very superior qualifications…strength

p%s”.While to



male novelist,he must possess

ofgenius,stores ofwit,humor and original fancy,nice

discrimination of character and intimate and universal knowledge of the world.From this
comparison we
no can see

that women writers were excluded from literary field because they had
of

literary

quality,such as“stores

wit"。"original fancy"etc.The defined
in

source

of womell’s

writing is just‘'gossip'’.Literary quality Was careful gendering of literary qualities who could In

such



way鹊to exclude

wom豇1.The

thus

efficiently

barred

the way for the woman writer,

never achieve excellence an atmosphere

except at the cost ofher femininity.

su.ch

it should not be surprising that there were women writers who

developed
break the

indirect means of communication,ironic narrative sIh'ategies that bounds of fiction without

allowed

them to
The

gendered

claiming‘'male"qualifies.Jane Spencer,in

Riseofthe WomanNovelist,FromAphraBehntoJaneAusten(1987),showsinher analysesof
the eighteenth-century novels how women,in their search for


public voice,had to negotiate restrictions

with

prevailing

attitudes,eighteenth-century woman managed
to

author,despite the

surrounding her,still

develop the techniques offiction.
Development

In Anna Udden’s Veils

ofIrony--The

ofNarrative

Technique in women§

Novels

ofthe

1790s,the author,taking Jane works
as

West,Charlotte
out

Smith and Anna Maria Bennett the eighteenth-century woman

these three

authoress and their

example,points

author,despite the restrictions surrounding her,still managed to develop the techniques of

fiction,such

as

irony.When talking about JaneAusten,Anna Uddc目n states:
a8

Between the centuries stands Jane Auston's literary achievement

aⅥm“:fsh缸serving

sometimes

to

obscure,and sometimes to enlighten

Ik

aehievemems of other WOlllcn novefists.This thesis situates

Austen勰all

inheritor of



female Iradition.However,the

p目sp蒯ve of West,Smith

and Belmett as

A啪’8pfedec麟∞ishidd锄inmytll醯,柚d wiu硎ybed昀ll谢出jn龇】as|ch剐瓿(P13)
ob“o吲弘Anila
Udden means that Jane Austen learns irony,which served


lot from the veils

m铸e肿甜ecl黜0fs

and

讪erits some female traditions,such
Writing
itselfin

as

as

ofw鲫eIl,s writing.
ideaI

18也century was a

rebellious act韶it required
to experience bolll

w啪衄to喇cct tlle

offemininity.In addition,women writers had
the immaterial indifference and hostility
on

tl岵mat面al diffienlti嚣柏d
sIlggestod mat“A

men’s part.Virginia

W∞lfhas

w硼1an

ml】st have

m彻ey and



loom of her own if she is

to write

fiction"(Woolf 237).
lack of o∞nomic

According to

Woolf,"money'’and‘'room'’respectively
and being


represent

wom∞,s

ind印鼬d衄ce

confined

in



small living

condition.Mofeov%in

tlle删砌al
wIitcrs.w锄髓
ceIltu“

soci啊it had been

long time since

women were treated as

in鲡ors觚d wcre懿duded疗啪
hands
end
0f male

司u硎呱profession and the public.The pen had been in

the

wcre雕嘞钯d‰纠如attempting
1nore

it.In spite ofthat,by the

ofthe eighteenth

and more women took up the pen to

write,particularly,they础mc ironjc州石ng舔


tlle

major

vehicle to express their ideas.Irony WaS made

m哪辨砌锄l

tone

in船

删y

嘞tc锄m。c衄£t叫writing than

in any other.

Novel writing with

social喇tici锄would

get female writers into the trouble ofmining their

reputation,岫,细蜘e嘶石cal
atta出
l研J柚e A1ls咖,at∞t曲d盯孤

female writers,ironic writing was taken嬲a shelter from social

Many researchers have
agc,alrcady

pointed out that it's very unusual

“J蛳‰嘲‰觚矾i瓯and 翩showed


confi蛐cd p啪dist and

cynic.she翮∞岫lg、Ⅳimom p勰singju姆n%t up蛐it.
aboveall,anirunist"(Cecil
to perceive

42).Fmm雏酬y age,‰
joked abom what me
about

formidable keen eye

human

folly.She

确删)ofs thought
what the

ofeach other and what she thought ofthe think

neighbors.She evenjoked

ncighbors m/ght

ofher:"Whenever

I fall into misfortune,how I

m锄yjok鹤it

ought

to

furnish my acquaintance in general,or
7m.
vein Wfl¥one

shall die出饶Idfillly

in t11eir

d曲t硒

entertainment"(Bilger

m拍llic,sat/deal

Jane Austen mined

SO

skillfully in

l糖y螂觚d

works.The well-known‘love and Friendship’and‘The History of England’,and especially the later Juvenilia,particularly‘Catharine’,show unmistakable signs ofcomic talent.To write in the satirical vein demands


ccl-tain detachment,a moral distancing from the

object

of

criticism.It demands



cold-blooded assessment of aesthetic and moral values.To this

challenge Jane Austen,eVell鹪all adolescent.was equal.She seemed by this time already to

had acquired that detachment,that moral time she was a teenager she knew
one a

distanee—that

coldness.At the very least,by the


great deal about what,as

writer,she ought to avoid.As

critic has said,she‘began by defining herselfthrough what she

rejeeted.’Marvin Mudriek

has argued persuasively in his famous especially favored by her because such

study of Jane Austen that the ironic mode was

forms∞abled

her

as



writer to remain‘detached,

from oneself

as

from others,’and from‘personal commitment.’Mudriek said.from the
to her own‘hard

beginning,Jane Austen was a spectator;,she WaS always subject in her work

compelled detachment,’a‘conscious shying from emotion’which took the form of ironic
writing---parody and burlesque ofothers
as a

smoke

screen

to

hide her own feelings.Mudriek

declared.‘Her temperament chose irony砒once,she maintained her distance by diverting herself and her audience、】I,ith unengaged laughter.’From the Juvenilia.We Austen’s first struggles to find
turn out to
a Call

feel Jane

literary voice of her

own.When

she found it,it did indeed

be the voice of

irony--which
Mark

she//level"abandoned.Irony,as we have

seen,

suggests detachment.It makes,as

Sehorer has written,‘no absolute

eommilments and

c瞰thus enjoy

the advantage of many ambiguities of meaning and endless ambiguities of
on

situation.’Jane Austen Wills

her way to being



mastcr-一ol"rather a mistress---ofthe ironic

mode.

Chapter 1I

The

Most

Flawed Heroine Shaped by Irony

2.1 Theories of Structural Irony

Irony,traditionally,refers to the figure of speech which involves‘saying

one

thing and

meaning another’(Bogota 1967).In the literary theory ofthe twentieth century it has caml。t0
be used in


much broader

selIse,to refer to

the concept of
an



relation of disparity
all

or

inadequacy.An ironical situation is that which exists between who is not awlu'e of being

observer and

observed

observed.D.C.Mueeke

begins his study,The Compass

of[tOl'ly,

witll the following observations:
Irony may be 8 weapon in satirical attack.or





smokesereen concealing



retreat,or



device for

turningtheworldoroneselfinsideout;ironymaybefoundinwordsand attitudes,in eventsand situations;

Ⅸwe may find

nothing

Oil

earth and quite certainly nothing in heaven that is not ironic.

Sueh strategies of irony educate the reader

not to be too self-assured,not to believe

everything he reads,and not to give too much credence to his OWlI_powers

ofobjectivity.And

Mueeke

also described three principal ways ofemploying irony'.

Ironymaybeusedallarlaetoriealdeviceto enforceOne'smeaning.Itmaybeused….asa satiricdevice attack a point ofview

to

Or

tO

expose folly,hypocrisy,or vanity.It may be used

as a

h目Ⅱis融i:kⅣico
not so

to

lead

彻矿s readers
doubtful
a8

to flee

that

things躺not

80

simple

or

eellain勰they鞠啪,of p既h印s

eomplox

01'

they

8ee吐
divided into several kinds in light oftheir different USeS.Structural irony is

Irony

c托be

one:ofthem.
“Structural introduces irony,that is.the author,instead of
serves

using锄occasional


verbal

irony,



strtletural feature that

to

sustain

duplex meaning

and evaluation

throughout the work.One common literary device ofthis sort is the invention ofa naive hero,

or

else



naive nm-rator

or

spokesman,whose invincible simplicity
on

of

obtuseness leads him to

persist in putting

an

interpretation

affairs which the knowing

reader--who

penetrates to,

and shares,the implied point ofview ofthe authorial presence behind the naive
as

peasomjust

persistently

is called

On

to alter and

cerre圮t."(M.H.Abramsl35).Emma

is the"naive

person",in the very first

sentence of

the novel‘Emma is handsome,clever,and

rich,晰m



comfortable home and happy disposition",then in the fourth paragraph we have been told of the“simplicity"ofher situation

and

character:‘the power ofhaving rather
sees

too

much her own

way,and



disposition to tl血ll【a little too well ofherselr.She

her fancy as‘'penetration'’。

and is proud of being an"imaginist".She is busying in scheming

and fancying

and suffers

“Structural irony depends by the reader but is not

on

knowledge ofthe author’s ironic

intention,which

is

shared

intended

by the fictional speaker.”(M.H.Abramsl36).That is the

author and the reader share the truth while the"naive p咆l-son'’knows nothing about it.Emma

was"cheated"by
sustaining ironic is


the truth again is the

and

again in the novel.‘‘A

related

structural

device

for

qualification
it.Although

u∞ofthe


fallible narrator,in which the teller ofthe story

participant in

such

narrator

may be neither stupid,credulous,nor demented,

he

nevertheless manifests and



failure ofinsight,by viewing

and

appraising his own motives,and

the motives

actions of other characters,through what the reader is pcl苫pcctive

intended to
private

recognize

as

the

distorting

of

the

narrator’s

prejudices


and

interest.”

似.H.Abramsl36).In

the novel,Emma plays the role of

narrator,while,readers

and

the

author shale the real facts.Emma makes mistakes OVer and

OVer."What

is

happening"and

"What Emma

think is

happening"diverge and

converge at different points in the story.

Emma’s all?consuming fancy blinds her to the others.Her

true state of

affairs.true needs and feelings of

manipulation
of what


ofthe characters around her demonstrates her
or

fancy,her
into

imaginary

perception
positions.

situation is

might

be,and

leads her

and

them

many false

Structural irony exists when the character's expectation is fi'ustrated by the ending.One expects something to happen,and strives hard at it,but笛things progress.the results
are

in

comic

contrast to

the expectation.Emma's expectation is frustrated by the

ending

again and and

again.She was very clever and was blinded from the

confident,but

later she found that she

mi町udged others

facts.We

readel瞎know that her willingness couldn’t

influence others

and

her fancy was not the reality.

2.2

Emma Shaped by Structural Irony Woodhouse
resembles her father,she is‘'never

In the quality ofher childishness,Emma able to suppose tllat other people could feel she knows
no

differently丘哪herself'’,within her small world,
no

boundaries
all those of

or

recognizes

limits.Emma’s fancies,manipulation,her

imagination truth

are



oreator.She makes jt up and thinks it’S real,not allowing the

t0 violate her creation.She is a

marked departure.Not only is she



young wonlan of out,“flawed".

considerable wealth

and social standing,she is.as

critics啪fond

of

pointing

The nature of Emma’S flaw is essentially

Austen'¥observation

of the great failing of the

upper-class:all assumption that what tlley think and do is inevitably correct.And although

Emma is quick-witted,gend'OtiS)and kind,she suffers the effect ofthis blind arrogance When

she comes to

believe that

she is gibed as her OWn liking.The result
one

is



series of seriocomic

entanglements

and disasters that touches virtually every
SO

with whom Emma comes into

contact.Janeities think that although Emma is

overbearing and self-assured tllat you

fi'equently

want to give her



slap,the author’s amazing

talent

for observation,subtle irony,

and flashing wit

endow

Emma with

tremendous

charm and interest.

The

novel openfl wim the marriage of

Mr.Weston

and

Miss

Tmlor,which Emma
to

attributes mainly to herself.On the basis of this

thought,self-satisfied Emma determines

eol3tinue her match-making:to find aⅥ,i龟for Mr.Elton,the vicar.In Chapter moots Harriet,she decides to msl'l'y her to Mr.EltorL

3,when

she

Then,despite Mr.Knightley's

advice

and warnings,Emma works hard at this:she brings them together



great deal at her house

Hartfield,and makes Harriet refuse the proposal ofmarriage from Robert she believes her scheme is

Martin.All tlle time

successful:Mr.Elton’s

constant visits to

them,his

inta删ill



portrait she paints of Harriet,the puzzle-poem that he brings them,all makes her,deep in

imaginary expectation,think that he admires Harriet.Soon the frustration of her first fancy

comes:after



party at Randalls,Emma finds herselfin



carriage alone with

Mr.Eiton,who
SCCl-le

surprises and distresses her by declaring that he loves her,not Harriet.This

illdnces

Emma's first

p面od

of humiliation.All

her

schemes in this affair result in



completely

unexpected ending.

After the first failure in match making and her OWn short-lived interest in

Fr趾k

Churchill,she now conceives the idea that Frank Churchill should malty Harriet.One day
Harriet is set upon by

gypsies,and

is rescued by Frank

Churchill.Emma,seeing them

thrown

together in this way,thinks how splendid it would be if they get married.This

time,she

resolves to learn from the failure in matching Harriet and Elton and not to iIlt盱fbrc.But in

fact,she interferes again by encouraging Harriet

to

marry somebody who is her∞dal

SUperiOI'.Harriet

confesses that she

admires someolle other than Mr.Elton,whom E1nma

immcdiatcly and mistakenly takes

to be Frank Churchill,when actually Harriet

m啪8

h仳

Knightley.Mrs.Churchill's unexpected death amuses Emma in
flee,and that"an

that Frank Churcllill win bc
to

attachment

to Harriet

Smith would have nothing

encounter'’戗350).But
is

there arises irony against Emma again:both
oIIIy

ofthem勰not in love with each other at all!It

romantic fantas/zing

that makes her think that Frank Churchill loves Harriet.Her dreams, rosult in
an

plans and

encouragement

unexpected frustration for the of

s∞ond

thne.

Jane Fairfax,all

orphaned granddaughter


Mrs.Bates,has come

to stay

with the

Bathes?She has been brought up by

Colonel with his own daughter,nOW

Mrs.Dixon.On

onehandEmmadeclaresfn-mlythat‘‘Itisveryunfairtojudgeofanybody’sconduct,without
an

intimate knowledge of their sJtBation”(p.132)On the other she has hardly bqgun to

speculate about Jane Fairfax's relationship、以tll the Colonel's she first hears his nanle,and makes fun ofreserved

son-in-law,Mr.Dixon,when

Miss

Fairfax about her"love affairs"witll

him,which is totally Emma's illusion.Eventually,to her great shock,Frank Churchill,who claims repeatedly that Miss Fairfax’s lreSel-Ce“is


most repulsive quality,indeed…~ne'velr

pleasing"(p.182),turnsouttobetheverymallwhohasalreadybeen secretlyengagedtoMiss

Fairfax册e year ago.Emma’s
But when

fan.eies,which a∞out ofcontrol,file smattered for
to



tllird time. for Frank

Emma tries

console

Harri晚who
eVell

she thinks

will

grieve

Churchill’s engagement to

Miss

Fairfax,she is

more distressed,for she and Harriet have
that Harriet thinks Emma has

been talking at cross-purposes,and it is been encouraging her to hope

Mr.Knightley's love

for.Emma's

shock at this news makes her realize that she

herselfloves Mr.Knightley;at this time she has

to础"with

forced

calmne8¥"0.368)and
110 one

‘'It darted through her,with the speed of an alTOW,that

Mr.Knightley must marry

but

herselfl”0.370)All

this is the result of Emma's blind incitement to Harriet and unrealistic

trial in raising Harriet above her station.Irony llgaillst Emma reaches the climax;it is her own ridiculous endeavor to arrange Harriet's fate that results in the dangers approaching herselfat

]!mllla)s fear is unnce髓sary.Mr.Knightley prolx)ses marriage to her,and receive8 hearty
consent

from her,who
also that

oncle

resolves"never to

m研H盯fancy

that she will

he,Vial'

111甜ry—锄d

Mr.Knightley

will ne'vel"maIT]r_is merely the uttcrlulcl瞎of her heart

unaeknowledged before.But irony does not end here.Harriet∞∞eiV髓Robert

Martin's

second

proposal and will marry him.This ending is quite contrary to Emma’s initial decisions and endeavors to"detach her fi-om her bad acquaintance".Even Emma herselfnow i8 very pleased
to hear

suela弛ending

contrasted to her own initial selacmes.Various ironical situations go

round Emma all the time;it is during this process that Emma gradually finds herself and her
true relation to society.

ChapterⅢThe

Feminist

Manifestation in Heroine Emma

3.1 Conseiousness ofFreedom

3.1.1

Free Growing

Environment--Free From Patriarchy
as

Emma’s growing environment is completely free,just
beginning of the novel:"Emma

mentioned in the very
rich,with


Woodhouse,handsome,clever,and
to unite

comfortable
had

home and happy disposition,seemed
lived nearly

some ofthe best blessings of
very little to distress is

existence;and

twenty-one

years in the


world研tll

or懈her.”(1).Emma's

mother died when she Was
is


little酉rl;her sister

married and

lives far from her;her farther

most affectionate,indulgent father,and he pays nothing rise but his health.So,Miss.
to be the only keeper

Taylor,Emma’s governess,sogms

of her.However,Miss Taylor's

"mildness of her temper had hardly allowed her to impose any restraint;and the shadow of authority being nOW long mutually

passed

away,they had been living together as friend and friend very

attached,and

Emma doing just what she liked;highly esteeming Miss Taylor's

judgment,but

directed chiefly by her

own”(2).As



result,during the cour站of Emma's

growing,there is neither the patriarchy oppression represented by father
earnest teaching

and

brothers

nor

the

ofthe same

s麟from her vmhodies

mother

and sisters.This

free growing gil-gumstan∞

endows her

with free spifit and



kind ofconseiousncss offreedom.

hl tlle 18th century,Britain society WaS is

dominated by patriarchy.The

origin ofpatriarchy has

unknown,and beoause

it is universal

it∞n

s咖l unassailable,and
patriarchy is

eV锄inevitable.It

often been

assumed(not usually by feminists)that

rooted

in biology,in the fact

that men are physically bigger
cbild-bearinD Yet

and

stronger than

women,who

are additionally
or

weakened

by
not

civilization(and other forms of oppression,like racism
is not

slavery)is

founded on

brute

strength;the role ofgender

identical to biological
that


sex;and alternatives

to patriarchy

may at least be

imagined.Many have suggested

prehistoric matriarchy

31

existed,and

eveffl

those historians and

anthropologists

who find

no

evidence for



matriarchy

suggest there must have been pre-patriarchal social

forms,and

that patriarc

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