A Study on Metafictive Devices in the French Lieutenant’s Woman

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A Study on Metafictive Devices in the French Lieutenant’s Woman

By | November 2011
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A Study on Metafictive Devices in The French Lieutenant’s Woman

Abstract
The French Lieutenant’s Woman is a splendid literary work written by English novelist John Fowles. It was published in 1969 and received universally acknowledged reputation as a masterpiece of postmodern novel. With intricate plot, the novel is regarded as a compelling historiographic metafiction in contemporary British literature. The characteristics of this novel are the metafictive devices employed by the author. Different from the previous studies centered on the idea of role reversal between characters or the analysis of sophisticated plot, this thesis is devoted to the exploring of metafictive devices adopted in the novel. The paper will first state the features of metafiction, followed by the thorough study of three metafictive devices, namely the intrusion of modern novelist-surrogate, the parody of Victorian romance and the creation of multiple endings. The last part will focus on the author’s profound aim in utilizing these techniques. Based on a careful survey of the original work and relevant materials, the paper holds the perception that through metafictive devices, Fowles has expressed his critical point of view towards Victorian era and woman emancipation. As a multi-faceted new woman in the novel, Sarah liberates herself from rigid social conventions and finally achieves her spiritual emancipation.

Key words: metafictive devices; woman emancipation; Victorian era

Contents
I. Introduction………………………………………………………………………...1 II. The Study of Metafictive Devices of The French Lieutenant’s Woman………...3 2.1 The Employment of Narrator-surrogate……………………..….............................4 2.2 The Parody of Victorian Romance…… …………………………..…..….…….…6 2.3 The Creation of Multiple Endings…………………….……………….……..........9 III Analysis of Fowles’s Purposes in Utilizing Metafictive Devices.......................11 3.1 Advocacy of Woman’s Selfhood…………………………………..……………..11 3.2...

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