Thursday, March 21, 2019
The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century
The Mad charwoman in the garret The woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century literary ImaginationAnd the lady of the house was seen entirely as she appears in each room, according to the nature of the lord of the room. none saw the whole of her, none barely herself. For the light which she was was both her reverberate and her body. None could tell the whole of her, none but herself (Laura Riding qtd. by Gilbert & Gubar, 3). Beginning Gibert and Gubars piece about the position of distaff writers during the nineteenth century, this passage conjures up images of women as transient forms, bodiless and indefinite. It seems such a being could never possess enough agency to separate up a pen and write herself into history. Still, this woman, however incomprehensible by others, has the ability to know herself. This chapter of The Madwoman in the Attic The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination, titled The Queens Looking Glass, discusses how the external, an d particularly male, representations of a woman can affect her so much that the image she sees in the reflect is no longer her own. Thus, female writers are left with a problem. As Gibert and Gubar state, the woman writers self-contemplation may be verbalize to have begun with a searching glance into the reflect of the male-inscribed literary text. there she would see at first only those eternal eviscerateaments fixed on her like a mask (Gilbert & Gubar, 15). In Charlotte Bronts Villette, the narrator and heroine Lucy Snowe is face up with a great deal of reflections which could influence her self-image and become detrimental to her writing. However, she is sensitive that the mirrors she finds, whether the literal mirror of the looking at glass or her reflection in other characters ... ... authors insisted that they are (43). However, instead of doing fiery and suicidal tarantellas out of the looking glass, (44) Lucy Snowe decides to ignore the inaccurate representations in the mirrors around her and focus her energies toward constructing a mirror of her own the circular mirror of crystal she is always searching for but that can only be found in the text itself. The line Gilbert and Gubar apply to Bront and other successful women writers is also valid for Lucy. The emeritus silent leap of death became a dance of triumph, a dance into speech, a dance of authority (44).Works CitedGilbert, Sandra M. and Susan Gubar. The Madwoman in the Attic The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination. New Haven Yale UP, 1979. ODea, Gregory. Narrator and indorser in Charlotte Bronts Villette. South Atlantic Review 53.1 (1988) 41-57.