S-Space College of Humanities (인문대학) Institute of Humanities (인문학연구원) Journal of humanities (인문논총) Journal of Humanities vol.49 (2003) (인문논총)
테스,『 테스』, 텍스트
Tess, Tess, Text
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 인문대학 인문학연구원
- 인문논총, Vol.49, pp. 149-186
- This paper purports to be a critique of text readings based on the
politics of identity, confining itself to recent rereadings of Tess of
DUrbervilles. These rereadings of Tess have focused on the male gaze of
the narrator on the assumption that he is catering to the middle-class
consumption of working-class woman as spectacle. Accordingly, Tess
becomes a text constructed by the Victorian discourse that naturalizes
working-class woman as a part of the landscape.
This spectator-spectacle structure is not without grounds in the novel, but
it simplifies the complex characterization of Tess as well as the narrator.
The narrator of Tess is indeed a middle class spectator; considering the
evolution of various spectators during the eighteenth century, however, it is
too simplistic to label him male gaze. He is a descendant of the spectators
self-conscious of the futility of their good intentions to alleviate the suffering
in view. The easy equation of Tess = text is another simplification; Tess is a
spectacle, but at the same time, she has the potentials to be an autonomous
individual, more so than any other character in the novel.
In addition to these simplifications, recent readings of Tess have
overlooked Hardys allusions to Pamela. Pamela has emerged as the text to
validate the reading practices of the politics of identity by conflating
writing, sexuality, and class struggle. Recent rereadings of Tess have applied
this frame of reference, only to erase textual subversions made possible by
the self-conscious narrator who historicizes the predicament of Tess as well
as the spectatorship of middle-class readers.