Feminist criticism has not been kind to Charles Dickens. The characters George Orwell referred to as 'legless angels' - Little Nell, Agnes Wickfield, Esther Summerson and others - have been conjured as evidence of Dickens' inability to create 'real' women. Critics wishing to rescue him have turned to the dark, angry women - Nancy, Lady Dedlock, Miss Wade - who disrupt the calm surface of some of Dickens' novels. In this book Hilary M. Schor argues that the role of the good daughter is interwoven with that of her angry double in Dickens' fiction, and is the centre of narrative authority in the Dickens' novel. As the good daughters must leave their father's house and enter the world of the marketplace, they transform and rewrite the stories they are empowered to tell. The daughter's uncertain legal status and her power of narrative gave Dickens a way of reading and writing his own culture differently.

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