S-Space College of Humanities (인문대학) English Language and Literature (영어영문학과) 영학논집(English Studies) 영학논집(English Studies) No.29 (2009)
여성이 이야기하는 방법: 『제인 에어』와 『테스』에서 나타나는 여주인공들의 목소리
The Way Women Talk: The Voice of Heroine in Jane Eyre and Tess of the D'Urbervilles
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 인문대학 영어영문학과
- 영학논집, Vol.29, pp. 124-147
- Charlotte Brontes Jane Eyre has been recognized as a representative feminist novel, for its heroine, Jane's ability to speak. On the other hand, Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D' Urbervilles has been criticized by some feminists mainly because of its heroine, Tess's passivity. Tess, however, also has her own voice and Hardy shows it differently. This paper examines how Jane and Tess speak out their opinions and thus construct their subjectivity in the oppresive patriarchal society.
From the beginning of the novel, we can hear Jane's own voice. Men, such as John, Rochester, and St. John, try to manipulate her and make her someone different from herself. Jane, however, does not lose her voice under their repression, and rather speaks herself through direct speech and writing. The ending of the novel, her marriage with Rochester, shows her final triumph. Jane can do that because she is apart from society compared to Tess, so she can have individual voice more easily. Moreover, the autobiographical form of the novel helps her do that.
In contrast, Tess's voice is rather weak. It is not because she is more passive than Jane, but because she is much more tied to society than Jane. She has to earn her living and take care of her family, and is placed in the time of long history of D'Urbervilles. It suggests that her words can not be free from the dominant language of patriarchy. Therefore, she cannot speak herself as freely as Jane. Instead, the text shows and 'speaks' Tess's voice, which indicates both her sensuality and innocence that men, Alec and Angel, fail to perceive.