Literary Terms The French Lieutenant's Woman as a Postmodern Novel If the fundamental principles and assumptions about the nature of fiction is questioned and challenged, postmodernist elements are supposed to exist. Ernestine stands for a superficial womanhood.
The main character of the story is Charles Smithson, a Victorian gentleman who begins the story with a suitable fiance.
The title character is Sarah Woodruff, a social outcast due to her past relationship with a lieutenant who abandoned her and tarnished her reputation.
As fate would have it, Charles is captivated by this mysterious woman and eventually enters into an affair with her. In many ways, the characters and setting of the story fit into a typical Victorian design. Based in England init is reminiscent of Jane Austen, Thomas Hardy, and other authors of that era.
However, Fowles is clearly satirizing Victorian literature and fashioning a Postmodern work of brilliance in this Victorian mold. The narrator constantly breaks in and out of the story in metanarrativedispelling the fantasy.
Eventually, he confesses that he is actually writing the story inyet he claims to have no authority over his characters. In a truly unique move, Fowles actually places himself temporarily in the story. Near the end, he describes a man who is sitting on the train across from the main character and studying him quizzically.
He reveals that he, the narrator, is the mysterious man on the train and as he looks at Charles, he says, "What the devil am I going to do with you? Memorably, he eventually settles the matter by offering three alternative endings, which he suggests are all equally valid. I thoroughly enjoyed this narrative style.
Every chapter begins with at least one quote from a famous piece of literature, and at times he directly explains its connection to the story.
His characters are equally well read and frequently refer to various works of their time, such as Madame Bovary and Persuasion. Another important aspect of this story is the ambiguity, which plays a critical role in the novel. Fowles pushes readers to consider that things cannot always be separated into distinct categories.
It is not always a matter of right or wrong, good or bad, yes or no. Sarah is the best example of this in the novel. Through gossip in the town, we hear many explanations and opinions about her relationship with the French lieutenant, but none of them are ever confirmed.
But perhaps the greatest ambiguity of all these possible motives is that they do not necessarily contradict each other. It is conceivable that they may all be true, or at least partially true. This essentially borders the Postmodern theory of "truth" and "untruth," in which there are multiple dimensions we perceive rather than one set guideline.
Publishing this inFowles was ahead of his time. I believe that his work was monumental in the transition from Modern to Postmodern literature, and his brilliance is even more striking in consideration of the innovation it brought. In fact, the plot is the least memorable aspect of the story for me.
Instead, Fowles challenged the boundaries of what a story can be and ushered in a new era of writing. This novel is lightly entertaining and deeply philosophical at the same time, which is not an easy thing to accomplish. I highly recommend it to all!The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles.
or in the elemental imagery that is often used to describe the relationship between Charles and Sarah in terms of fire and water and so forth.
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Study Guide Navigation; About The French. The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles: Summary Charles is a member of the English elite, an upper class aristocrat.
Charles is a paleontologist who studies the fossils of dead plants and animals.
In The French Lieutenant's Woman, John Fowles questioned the fundamental Victorian principles and assumptions. In The French Lieutenant's Woman, John Fowles has made a contrast between Ernestine and Sarah Woodruff.
Literary Terms; The French Lieutenant's Woman as a Postmodern Novel. The French Lieutenant's Woman essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Knowles.
The Conclusions of The French Lieutanant’s Woman and the Author’s Clear Preference. Jan 01, · Perhaps the most beloved of John Fowles's internationally bestselling works, The French Lieutenant's Woman is a feat of seductive storytelling that effectively invents anew the Victorian novel.
"Filled with enchanting mysteries and magically erotic possibilities" (New York Times), the novel Pages: The narrator of The French Lieutenant's Woman is positioned in the twentieth century, but is writing with a keenly ironic voice about the nineteenth century.
He makes use of some tropes in the Victorian novel, but presents us with a hugely modified 'twist' on this conventional form of fiction. In.