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“결혼하지 않는다고 약속 해” : <보스턴 사람들>에 나타난 여성 유대와 뒤틀린 결혼 서사
Female Bonding and the Twisted Marriage Plot in Henry James’ The Bostonians

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Authors
최유정
Issue Date
2015-02-28
Publisher
서울대학교 인문대학 영어영문학과
Citation
영학논집, Vol.35, pp. 61-79
Keywords
Henry JamesThe Bostoniansfemale bondingqueer subjectivitymarriage contract
Abstract
1883년에 쓴 편지에서 헨리 제임스(Henry James)는 (The Bostonians)에 “매우 미국적인 이야기”(a very American tale)를 담을 것이라고 말하며, 그 소재로 “여성들의 지위, 성에 대한 감성의 타락, 그들을 위한 시위”(the situation of women, the decline of the sentiment of sex, the agitation on their behalf)를 언급한다(Bostonians 439). 19세기 미국 보스턴에서 활발하게 진행 중이던 여성 참정권 운동을 모델로 한 이 소설은 적잖은 여성들이 정치적 집단과 강연을 조직하고 공적 영역에 진출하는 변화 과정에 주목한다. 데이비스(Sara deSaussure Davis)는 1880년대에 제임스가 “가족적 삶에 대한 관심에서 벗어나서 ‘바깥세상’의 자유를 추구하는 여성들”(women who step beyond the concern of family life and who seek liberation in the “world outside” 586)을 집중적으로 연구했다고 설명한다. 여성들이 가족이라는 사적 영역에서 탈피하여 공적 영역을 향해가는 것이 여성운동의 흐름이었다면, 베레나(Verena Tarrant)가 여성주의에 관한 연설을 포기하고 남성과 결혼 계약을 맺기로 택하는 『보스턴 사람들』의 결말은 여러모로 아이러니하다. 뒤틀린 결혼 서사를 통해서 제임스는 참정권이라는 시민 영역의 평등뿐만 아니라 남녀 사이에서 이루어지는 사적 영역의 문제까지도 다루고자 했던 것으로 보인다.
This paper starts from the question why The Bostonians, a novel on women’ s suffrage in nineteenth-century Boston, mainly tackles the love triangle surrounding Verena, which manifests the conflict between the heterosexual marriage and the female same-sex relationship. By drawing on Carole Pateman’ s concept of the individual as a patriarchal category, this study examines how female bonding between Olive and Verena serves to criticize the heteronormative narrative plot of courtship and marriage. Basil, who persuades Verena to give up her job as a feminist speaker and marry him, exploits the liberalist rhetoric of individual and freedom, which eventually turns out to be based on gender inequality; his speech actually reveals the marital restriction that reduces women to the domestic sphere. In contrast with Basil’s marriage contract as a realization of individuality, Olive radically questions the authority of the contract that imposes a lifelong commitment, by requiring the relationship with Olive to be based on love, not coercion. This twist on the marriage contract also prefigures the queer subjectivity of Judith Butler’s theory. As Butler indicates “shaming” as a way to step aside from the socially sanctioned convention, the shame Verena and Olive feel together likewise provides the criticism and resistance to the normative heterosexuality that eventually splits the female bond. In The Bostonians, James opens up the possibilities wherein the marriage contract is criticized and parodied by homosexual relations, thereby raising the essential question about what it means to become a woman in nineteenth-century America at the dawn of the feminist movement.
Language
Korean
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10371/94016
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College of Humanities (인문대학)English Language and Literature (영어영문학과)영학논집(English Studies)영학논집(English Studies) No.35 (2015)
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