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Housing identity

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Date Issued:
2012
Summary:
This thesis represents a study of The Years by Virginia Woolf and Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. Both novels attempt to redefine the role of women in patriarchal society during the 1930s. The domestic role women had to fill within a masculine household constrained their ability to form an independent "self," apart from fathers and husbands. I argue that these novels articulate the possibility for women to access an independent self by examining the meaning behind domestic objects in and of the house. Lucy Irigaray asserts that women were, and still are, associated with being valued as a desirable "commodity". Since women have no choice but to work within the symbolic order and are already labeled as "object," women writers have manipulated the system by examining the subject/object dichotomy. The relationship women have with inanimate, and particularly domestic, objects shows how time (the past and the future) manipulates freedom in the present moment. Woolf's reflection on how "moments of being" function as gateways to a heightened sense of awareness is prevalent in her last published novel, The Years. I invoke Friedrich Nietzsche to consider notions of how an antiquated past hinders identity in du Maurier's Rebecca. In the literary texts of Woolf and du Maurier, women have a unique relationship with material objects in relationship to subjectivity. By examining the spatial constructs of the home, women are able to construct themselves as free "subjects" in a male dominated world.
Title: Housing identity: re-constructing feminine spaces through memory in Virginia Woolf's The Years and Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca.
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Name(s): Derisi, Stephanie
Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters
Department of English
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Issued: 2012
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Physical Form: electronic
Extent: viii, 101 p. : ill. (some col.)
Language(s): English
Summary: This thesis represents a study of The Years by Virginia Woolf and Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. Both novels attempt to redefine the role of women in patriarchal society during the 1930s. The domestic role women had to fill within a masculine household constrained their ability to form an independent "self," apart from fathers and husbands. I argue that these novels articulate the possibility for women to access an independent self by examining the meaning behind domestic objects in and of the house. Lucy Irigaray asserts that women were, and still are, associated with being valued as a desirable "commodity". Since women have no choice but to work within the symbolic order and are already labeled as "object," women writers have manipulated the system by examining the subject/object dichotomy. The relationship women have with inanimate, and particularly domestic, objects shows how time (the past and the future) manipulates freedom in the present moment. Woolf's reflection on how "moments of being" function as gateways to a heightened sense of awareness is prevalent in her last published novel, The Years. I invoke Friedrich Nietzsche to consider notions of how an antiquated past hinders identity in du Maurier's Rebecca. In the literary texts of Woolf and du Maurier, women have a unique relationship with material objects in relationship to subjectivity. By examining the spatial constructs of the home, women are able to construct themselves as free "subjects" in a male dominated world.
Identifier: 794178046 (oclc), 3342046 (digitool), FADT3342046 (IID), fau:3850 (fedora)
Note(s): by Stephanie Derisi.
Thesis (M.A.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2012.
Includes bibliography.
Electronic reproduction. Boca Raton, Fla., 2012. Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Subject(s): Woolf, Virginia, 1882-1941
Du Maurier, Daphne, 1907-1989
Feminism in literature
Identity (Psychology) in literature
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/FAU/3342046
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Host Institution: FAU