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Female Quest in Christina Stead's For Love Alone

Mathilda, Nilsson LU (2002)
Abstract
One of the conspicuously recurrent motifs in Christina Stead's novels is the quest. The present study centres on For Love Alone, the novel in which the prominence of this motif culminates in the depiction of Teresa Hawkins' successful quest, which contains both social and spiritual elements. The novel has a discernible romance structure, and a number of heroic models, including both male and female patterns, mix and blend in Teresa's quest, which makes it emblematic as well as idiosyncratic. In order to show the complexity of Teresa's position as quest hero, Northrop Frye's archetypal criticism is combined with feminist angles on women's social and spiritual quest. Being an Australian, Teresa's progress has also a post-colonial aspect, as... (More)
One of the conspicuously recurrent motifs in Christina Stead's novels is the quest. The present study centres on For Love Alone, the novel in which the prominence of this motif culminates in the depiction of Teresa Hawkins' successful quest, which contains both social and spiritual elements. The novel has a discernible romance structure, and a number of heroic models, including both male and female patterns, mix and blend in Teresa's quest, which makes it emblematic as well as idiosyncratic. In order to show the complexity of Teresa's position as quest hero, Northrop Frye's archetypal criticism is combined with feminist angles on women's social and spiritual quest. Being an Australian, Teresa's progress has also a post-colonial aspect, as her voyage to England constitutes a journey from the margins to the centre, which is one of the stock motifs in post-colonial literature. Stead's fiction is characterised by dense intertextuality and the oscillation between diferent perspectives and discourses that results from this intertextual involvement. As a complement to the exploration of the novel's underlying romance structure and Teresa's kinship with archetypal heroes, the study therefore examines the relations between For Love Alone and a number of specific heroic intertexts. The engagement with various intertexts with different perspectives on the quest results in a multi-layered intertextuality that leaves ample space for the reader's imaginative involvement. The study concludes with a survey of the female quest in Stead's entire oeuvre, which charts the increasing importance of the motif in Stead's early novels and how the female quest is distorted and/or decentred in the works published after For Love Alone. (Less)
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author
opponent
  • Ph.D. Clunies Ross, Bruce, Copenhagen
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
English language and literature, post-colonial journey, feminism, archetypes, intertextuality, Christina Stead, female quest, Engelska (språk och litteratur)
pages
186 pages
publisher
English Studies
defense location
Humanisthuset, room 140
defense date
2002-12-07 10:15
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
045cfbd2-8e8c-42b0-b7bb-aba9f5f1dde7 (old id 20640)
date added to LUP
2007-05-28 10:33:22
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:07
@misc{045cfbd2-8e8c-42b0-b7bb-aba9f5f1dde7,
  abstract     = {One of the conspicuously recurrent motifs in Christina Stead's novels is the quest. The present study centres on For Love Alone, the novel in which the prominence of this motif culminates in the depiction of Teresa Hawkins' successful quest, which contains both social and spiritual elements. The novel has a discernible romance structure, and a number of heroic models, including both male and female patterns, mix and blend in Teresa's quest, which makes it emblematic as well as idiosyncratic. In order to show the complexity of Teresa's position as quest hero, Northrop Frye's archetypal criticism is combined with feminist angles on women's social and spiritual quest. Being an Australian, Teresa's progress has also a post-colonial aspect, as her voyage to England constitutes a journey from the margins to the centre, which is one of the stock motifs in post-colonial literature. Stead's fiction is characterised by dense intertextuality and the oscillation between diferent perspectives and discourses that results from this intertextual involvement. As a complement to the exploration of the novel's underlying romance structure and Teresa's kinship with archetypal heroes, the study therefore examines the relations between For Love Alone and a number of specific heroic intertexts. The engagement with various intertexts with different perspectives on the quest results in a multi-layered intertextuality that leaves ample space for the reader's imaginative involvement. The study concludes with a survey of the female quest in Stead's entire oeuvre, which charts the increasing importance of the motif in Stead's early novels and how the female quest is distorted and/or decentred in the works published after For Love Alone.},
  author       = {Mathilda, Nilsson},
  keyword      = {English language and literature,post-colonial journey,feminism,archetypes,intertextuality,Christina Stead,female quest,Engelska (språk och litteratur)},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {186},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0x89104d0)},
  title        = {Female Quest in Christina Stead's For Love Alone},
  year         = {2002},
}