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Charles Dickens and the Image of Women - David Holbrook

Charles Dickens and the Image of Women


Published: 1st February 1993
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How successful is Dickens in his portrayal of women? Dickens has been represented (along with William Blake and D.H. Lawrence) as one who championed the life of the emotions often associated with the "feminine." Yet some of his most important heroines are totally submissive and docile.

Dickens, of course, had to accept the conventions of his time. It is obvious, argues Holbrook, that Dickens idealized the father-daughter relationship, and indeed, any such relationship that was unsexual, like that of Tom Pinch and his sister--but why? Why, for example, is the image of woman so often associated with death, as in "Great Expectations"? Dickens's own struggles over relationships with women have been documented, but much less has been said about the unconscious elements behind these problems.

Using recent developements in psychoanalytic object-relations theory, David Holbrook offers new insight into the way in which the novels of Dickens--particularly "Bleak House," "Little Dorrit," and "Great Expectations"--both uphold emotional needs and at the same time represent the limits of his view of women and that of his time.

Introductionp. 1
Bleak House: The Dead Baby and the Psychic Inheritancep. 27
Religion, Sin, and Shamep. 55
Little Dorrit, Little Doormatp. 70
At the Heart of the Marshalseap. 83
Great Expectations: A Radical Ambiguity about What One May Expectp. 126
Finding One Another's Reality: Lizzie Hexam and Her Love Story in Our Mutual Friendp. 147
Dickens's Own Relationships with Womenp. 164
Bibliographyp. 177
Indexp. 181
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780814734834
ISBN-10: 0814734839
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 208
Published: 1st February 1993
Publisher: New York University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.3  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.41