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Noble Savage-On the Primitivity of Women in D. H. Lawrence’s Works

Author: LiuYuHong
Tutor: LiRuCheng
School: Qingdao University
Course: English Language and Literature
Keywords: Lawrence women primitive primitivity ecofeminism
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Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2010
Downloads: 80
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Abstract


People in the early 20th century saw the upheavals of modern society. However, the First World War and mankind’s trepass on nature awakened people to the destructive aspect of modern civilization. People were prone to dwell on the carefree and natural life of primitive people when their faith in conventional values and religion collapsed.Owing to the patriarchal society and female intrinsic peculiarities, women are more sensitive to the changes of the world and possessed stronger primitive complexes, and so are the female images in D. H. Lawrence’s works. Lawrence dedicated himself to the exploration of female psychology and depicted female figures’arduous journey self-fulfillments in his works, expecting to deliver women from plight by virtue of female instincts and intuitions. This thesis attempts to analyze of the primitivity of women in Lawrence’s works from feminism perspective and adopts the theory of primitivism and some arguments of feminism, primarily ecofeminism, expecting to give a detailed illustration of women’s primitivity in the mechanized world.Firstly, chapter one illustrates the theoretical framework of the thesis. After tracing the origin of primitivism, the first chapter demonstrates the different patterns of the manifestation of primitivism in literary works. The second chapter further expounds the condition of women in Lawrence’s time and reveals the relation between women’s primitivity and their social dilemma, which give a distinct background to the following chapters. A detailed study on primitivity of women in Lawrence’s works is unfolded in chapter three and chapter four, which separately verifies the static and dynamic primitivity of women in Lawrence’s works. The static primitivity is mainly classified into women’s intimacy with nature and their irrational psychology. In addition, the symbolic images that help to demonstrate women’s primitivity are also probed in this module. The dynamic primitivity of women is demonstrated in women’s pursuit of Rananim realm, pagan religion and the ecstasy of Dionysus. These two chapters confirm the manifestation patterns of primitivism in chapter two and the dilemma of women in chapter three, which reveal Lawrence’s aspiration to save women from predicament by primitive passion. In Lawrence’s opinion the only salvation of women is to abandon the whole mechanized civilization and release their primitivity entirely. A further discussion on the merits and the limitations of Lawrence’s salvation is developed in chapter five. The auther tries to seek for a rational release of primitivity of women in the balance between primitivity and civilization, which means a lot to the final emancipation of modern women. A general conclusion is drawn in the last chapter.

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