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Title: The Russian woman is not a human being': female subjectivity in the works of F. M. Dostoevsky, 1846-1864
Author: Critchley, Lucinda Caroline
ISNI:       0000 0004 5923 037X
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2015
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Dostoevsky's female characters are among the most under-studied in his fiction. They are frequently seen as templates for Dostoevsky's agenda, and very little else. This study contends otherwise, and will attempt to apply my own framework to the female characters, to understand both how they are depicted and what role(s) they play in his novels. I argue that Dostoevsky treats the female characters as subjects: • in a historically accurate manner • through narration and other textual devices • based on a belief in the value of the human person regardless of gender, which takes precedence over considerations of gender. In reading the female characters, I firstly examine the historical situation of women, specifically of the class described by Dostoevsky, in nineteenth-century Russian society, to suggest that Dostoevsky's depiction is detailed and accurately reflects this in its details. I then move on to a consideration for some of the most useful ways of considering narration, character, and the structures through which narrative operates, in order to consider how such techniques of narrative can be used by Dostoevsky to depict his characters as subjects. Finally, I consider what is meant by a 'subject', particularly in Russian thought, in order to understand how a character who possesses such subjectivity would act. In particular, I read female subjectivity in the novels as indicated by female agency, especially in resistance to the constraining forces placed on women by those 'around them. I discuss ways in which Dostoevsky's depiction changes in the works depicted here, noting particularly his shift in narrative stance and the more explicitly religious and Orthodox conception of personhood in the final two works I analyse.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available