The Effective Protagonist in the Nineteenth-century British Novel: Scott, Brontė, Eliot, Wilde

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Ashgate, 2004 - Literary Criticism - 300 pages
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The Effective Protagonist in the Nineteenth-Century British Novel is an experiment in post-Jungian literary criticism and methodology. Its primary aim is to challenge current views about the correlation between narrative structure, gender, and the governing psychological dilemma in four nineteenth-century British novels. The overarching argument is that the opening situation in a novel represents an implicit challenge facing not the obvious hero/heroine but the individual that Terence Dawson defines as the 'effective protagonist.' To illustrate his claim, Dawson pairs two sets of novels with unexpectedly comparable dilemmas: Ivanhoe with The Picture of Dorian Gray and Wuthering Heights with Silas Marner. whose crucial function in the ordering of the events has been overlooked. Rereading these well-known texts in relation to hitherto neglected characters uncovers startling new issues at their heart and demonstrates innovative ways of exploring both narrative and literary tradition.

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About the author (2004)

Terence Dawson is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Language and Literature at the National University of Singapore, Singapore.

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