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Frankenstein에 나타난 Mary Shelley의 여성 작가로서의 불안

Title
Frankenstein에 나타난 Mary Shelley의 여성 작가로서의 불안
Other Titles
MARY SHELLEY'S 'ANXIETY OF AUTHORSHIP' IN FRANKENSTEIN
Authors
白始芸
Issue Date
1996
Department/Major
대학원 영어영문학과
Keywords
FrankensteinMary Shelley여성 작가
Publisher
이화여자대학교 대학원
Degree
Master
Abstract
Being the daughter of the radical intellectuals Mary Wollstonecraft and William Godwin, and later becoming the wife of the renowned Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, it would seem that Mary Shelley was destined for a literary career. However, family ties were not the only cause for the extreme pressure she felt as an aspiring author. The fears and anxieties she felt as a woman writer of her age can be ascribed to two socio-historical causes. The first may be described as the anxiety a contemporary woman writer felt when she realized that the act of writing in her case would be construed as a direct offense against what society deemed was the behaviour of a 'Proper Lady.' The second anxiety a woman writer faced was due to the fact that the Western binary system defined men as the subjects for creation, women for procreation, which consequently led to the belief that creation and procreation were mutually exclusive. Hence women, as potential mothers, cannot write. Mary Shelley experienced the above anxieties as well, and the aim of this thesis is to discover and trace how these fears surfaces in Frankenstein. By introducing three male speakers in the frame narrative of Frankenstein, she is freed from the responsibility of taking a definite stand on some its controversial issues and effectively manages to tell her story during an age when society was wary and hostile to the notion of a woman writing to express her thoughts. Mary Shelley inverts her innermost fear as a woman embarking upon writing into the plot of Victor Frankenstein's creation of a monster, which is a male attempt to 'procreate.' The Monster, although introduced in the novel as a male, is in reality closer to the female because they both appreciate the sublime beauty of nature and because of their similar status in a patriarchal society. The Monster the most persuasive and eloquent narrator of the three speakers, which can be taken as proof of his authorial ability. Hence, his situation is similar to the woman writer who has no place in Harold Bloom's literary theory of the 'anxiety of influence' because they both have no role models to emulate. Finally, the Monster can be identified with Mary Shelley herself, since they both learn of their birth by the books their parents have left them and continuously search for their true identity in this world. Mary Shelley realizes that these fears as a woman writer are derived from a rigid definition of gender in a society dominated by patriarchal values, and offers an alternative society based on 'domestic affections' symbolized by the De Lacey family. She stresses the importance of domestic affections as the regulator of individual ambitions, and shows in the instances of Walton and Victor Frankenstein how distrastrous the consequences could be when domestic affections are destroyed in the pursuit of fulfilling one's egotistical desires. She also posits Safie as an alternative to the 'Proper Lady' of the time. Whereas the 'Proper Lady' obliges everyone's wishes above her own, Safie has the courage to openly defy her father and escape to her lover's side. However, Mary Shelley makes the De Lacey family and Safie flee after the Monster's sudden intrusion of their cottage, thus depriving the readers of the only alternative she had offered in opposition to contemporary patriarchal society. The De Lacey family and Safie's disappearance in the novel are due to the fact that Mary Shelley, although she wanted to provide a perfect solution, can not continue further in detail because her belief in its possibility is strained. Also, she lacks the confidence that her vision of society was valid, which can be seen as another aspect of her anxiety as a woman writer. In the late eighteenth century, the 'Gothic Novel' was born and writers were able to explore the depths of the hidden recesses of the mind. Mary Shelley expresses the fears and anxieties of a contemporary woman writer by exploiting the literary conventions of the Gothic Novel.;Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelley는 William Godwin과 Mary Wollstonecraft의 딸인 동시에 Percy Bysshe Shelley의 아내라는 사실로 말미암아 많은 주위 사람들이 그녀의 문학적인 소질에 기대를 걸었으나, 이러한 화려한 가족 관계보다 그녀에게 더욱 정신적인 부담을 안긴 것은 '창작'에 대한 불안과 초조였다. 이러한 '창작'에 대한 불안은 여성 작가가 글을 씀으로써 자기를 표현하는 것은 당시 사회의 '이상적인 여성상'에 위배된다는 인식과, 신의 고유 영역인 '출산'을 벗어나서 남성의 고유 영역인 '창작'에 도전한다는 사실에 대한 자각으로부터 생겨난 불안을 의미한다. Mary Shelley의 Frankenstein에 는 여성 작가로서의 이러한 불안이 잘 드러나 있다. 그녀는 Frankenstein에서 '액자형 서술(frame narrative)' 구조를 도입하여 Walton, Frankenstein, Monster라는 세 명의 남성 화자를 내세움으로써 자신의 목소리를 효과적으로 전달하는 동시에 어떠한 단정적인 입장을 취해야 하는 책임으로부터 스스로를 면제시킬 수 있었다. 그러나 Walton의 편지를 받는 수신인을 Margaret Saville이 라는 '여성'으로 설정함으로써 Frankenstein의 이야기를 여성적인 시각에서 윤리적인 판단을 내리겠다고 암시하고 있다. 한편, Mary Shelley는 여성 작가로서 '창작'에 도전하는 불안을 남성인 Victor Frankenstein이 '출산'에 도전하는 것으로 전도(invert)시키고 있다. 그 결과로 태어난 Monster를 본 논문에서는 여성, 여성 작가, Mary Shelley 자신과 어떻게 동일시되고 있는지를 분석 해 보고, 그 정체를 규명함으로써 Mary Shelley가 Frankenstein에서 무엇을 말하려고 했는지를 살펴보았다. Monster는 소설에서 남성으로 등장하지만, 그가 자연의 아름다움에 진심으로 감동하고 가부장제 사회에서 소외된 존재라는 점에서 오히려 여성에 가깝다. 또한 그의 유창한 화술에서 그의 탁월한 작가적인 역량을 감지할 수 있기 때문에 여성 작가로도 볼 수 있다. 마지막으로 Monster가 '아버지' Victor가 남긴 저서들로부터 자신의 출생에 대해서 알게 되고 끊임없이 자아 정체감을 형성하려는 모습에서 Mary Shelley 자신과 동일시 할 수 있다. Mary Shelley는 여성 작가가 느끼는 불안은 결국 여성에 대한 사회의 편견 및 고정 관념에서 비롯된다고 생각하여 그러한 편견과 고정 관념을 바탕으로 하는 당시 가부장제 중심의 사회의 가치에 대한 대안으로 '가족간의 애정(domestic affection)'을 제시하고 있다. 그런데 '가족간의 애정'을 가장 잘 보여 주는 가족으로 제시된 De Lacey家나 당대의 '이상적인 여성상'을 대신할 만한 인물로 제시된 Safie는 Mary Shelley의 희망을 나타내고 있지만, 소설 중반에 이들을 사라지게 한데에는 역시 여성 작가의 불안이 작용하고 있음을 알 수 있다.
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