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Title: A house of their own : women and houses in Henry James's late 1890s fiction
Author: Tarui, Yasuko
ISNI:       0000 0001 3499 4144
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2005
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This thesis examines Henry James's late 1890s fiction in terms of the heroines' "search for a home." The works that are analyzed are The Spoils of Poynton (1897), The Other House (1896), What Maisie Knew (1897), The Turn of the Screw (1898), In the Cage (1898), and The Awkward Age (1899). The first purpose of this thesis is to point out how, on a naturalistic level, the heroines suffer from a lack of their own living space, and to analyze the plot of each work as recounting the heroine's search for a home that is safe and permanent. The second purpose is to explain the "spatial implications" of each residence. The rooms and houses serve not only as metaphors of the characteristics of their inhabitants but also emerge as significant narrative presences in their own right. What becomes clear from these analyses is James's pessimism regarding the women's future, because in the end the heroines are either "homeless" or decide to live somewhere by compromise. It is implied that the root of the problem is the breakdown of family relationships, particularly acute in the tensions between parent and child, and also in the failure of the traditional marriage-plot to offer objectively acknowledged endings and solutions. The only final possession of a house in the works of this period lies in the consciousness of their heroines, who remain consequently vulnerable and unfulfilled.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: PR English literature