Female Alienation in the >The Handmaid’s Tale< [《使女的故事》中的女性异化], Master thesis, Foreign Language and Literature, Hunan University of Science and Technology, Xiangtan, Hunan, China 2020 [application of Fromm's theories to art].

  • 《使女的故事》(1985年)是加拿大著名作家玛格丽特·阿特伍德(Margaret Atwood,1939-)创作的反乌托邦小说。它描写了一个由成立于新英格兰的基督教原教旨主义者统治下的极权政体的恐怖故事。这一父权制政体被称为基列共和国,生活于基列的女性极为艰难。基列政府将女性划分为各种群体,其中作为使女的这一群体沦为生育工具以解决生育危机。本论文以艾瑞克·弗洛姆(Erich Fromm)的异化理论为指导,旨在探讨《使女的故事》中的女性异化。本论文认为,基列对女性的全方位压迫会危及女性的身心健康并使其发生异化,从而难以追求健全的生活。本论文首先分析奥芙弗雷德对异化的反抗。父权制与极权主义的特质令基列的统治者与其人民之间的关系成为弗洛姆所说的>非理性权威<。在基列,奥芙弗雷德被剥夺工作,被迫离开丈夫和女儿,成为给基列统治者生育孩子的使女。在这种被迫变成>长着两条腿的子宫<的过程中,奥芙弗雷德疏远于自己的真实自我,从而导致她的异化。为了反抗异化,奥芙弗雷德多次通过对词语的回想与先前的社会获得联系,尽管在基列女性读书习字的权利已经被剥夺。为了获得更多对抗异化的力量,她牢记自己对家人的爱,并争取与莫伊拉和奥芙格伦的联系。爱与联系会通过激发个体的自发性,给予个体自发思想与积极活动,令个体保有真实的自我。然而,对家人爱的衰退以及与二人联系的失去使她的反抗最终失败。其次,本论文探讨莫伊拉与异化的斗争。在基列建立前,莫伊拉是一名同性恋女权主义者,为一家妇女出版社工作。因这份工作,她被选为使女中的一员。在成为使女的过程中,由同性恋女权主义者所代表的莫伊拉的真实自我受到压制。为了对抗基列的压制,莫伊拉诉诸于爱和理性的力量。理性给予莫伊拉理解基列社会异化本质的力量。然而,莫伊拉两次出逃的失败令她对真实自我的坚持产生动摇,理性发生退化。对好友奥芙弗雷德的爱也因逃脱失败被送往>荡妇俱乐部<沦为妓女而失去。理性的退化与爱的失去导致莫伊拉缺乏心理安全感。最终,莫伊拉趋同于其他妓女,臣服于基列权威的权力主体,以期在这个>女同性恋者的天堂<缓解她内心的不安全感。而这种趋同与臣服正是她的异化表征所在。最后,本论文分析赛丽娜·乔伊极具讽刺意味的异化。在基列建立前,身为反女权主义者的赛丽娜致力于发表有关女性应如何待在家中的演讲,演讲家的工作表明着其真实自我的存在。但在基列,她被迫放弃工作,成为家庭主妇,真实的自我就此丧失,使其处于一种孤独不安的状态。为了摆脱这种孤独、不安的感觉,赛丽娜机械趋同于基列文化,成为一名称职的家庭主妇来获得认同感。这种认同感给予赛丽娜次级自我感,用以发展代替其真实自我的伪自我。对家庭主妇身份的接受代表着赛丽娜身上异化的发生,而无性无爱的婚姻导致赛丽娜爱的能力缺失,由此加深她的异化。最终,赛丽娜完全臣服于基列这一被她的同伙所创造出的父权制权力机器,成为弗洛姆所说的完全被异化的人。综上,本文通过分析父权极权政体下的女性异化,揭示了父权极权主义对女性身心的全方位压迫。阿特伍德通过对这样一个社会的想象,向我们展示了一个荒诞又真实的可怕未来。阿特伍德旨在表明,由父权极权统治的社会不仅使女性异化从而严重阻碍其对自我心理认知的进程,还会削弱包括男性在内的所有人类的人性及其能动性,而社会的发展和人类的进步需要身心皆未异化的健全人类。
  • >The Handmaid's Tale< (1985) is an dystopic novel by the famous Canadian author Margaret Atwood (born 1939). It depicts the horror of a totalitarian regime ruled by fundamentalist Christians founded in New England. This patriarchal regime is known as the Gilead Republic, and women living in Gilead have a very difficult time. The Gilead government divided women into various groups, with the group of women as the instruments of fertility to solve the fertility crisis. This thesis is guided by Erich Fromm's theory of alienation and aims to explore the alienation of women in >The Handmaid's Tale<. The thesis argues that Gilead's all-encompassing oppression of women endangers their physical and mental health and alienates them from the pursuit of a healthy life. The thesis begins with an analysis of Offred's resistance to alienation. The patriarchal and totalitarian nature of Gilead makes the relationship between the ruler and his people what Fromm calls >irrational authority<. In Gilead, Offred is deprived of her job, forced to leave her husband and daughter, and becomes a maid to bear children for the Gilead ruler. In this forced transformation into a >womb with two legs<, Offred is alienated from her true self, which leads to her alienation. In order to resist alienation, Offred repeatedly gains contact with her previous society through the recollection of words, despite the fact that women's right to read and learn words has been denied in Gilead. In order to gain more strength against alienation, she remembers her love for her family and fights for a connection with Moira and Ofglen. Love and connection will give the individual spontaneous thoughts and positive activities by stimulating spontaneity and allowing the individual to retain her true self. However, the decline of her love for her family and the loss of her connection to both of them caused her resistance to ultimately fail. Secondly, this thesis examines Moira's struggle with alienation. Prior to the establishment of Gilead, Moira was a queer feminist who worked for a women's publishing house. As a result of this work, she was chosen to be one of the ambassadors. In the process of becoming an ambassador, Moira's true self, represented by the queer feminist, is suppressed. To counter Gilead's suppression, Moira resorts to the power of love and reason. Reason gives Moira the power to understand the nature of Gilead's social alienation. However, Moira's failure to escape twice causes her insistence on her true self to falter and her reason to deteriorate. Her love for her best friend, Offred, is also lost when she fails to escape and is sent to a >slut club< where she becomes a prostitute. The degradation of reason and the loss of love lead to Moira's lack of psychological security. In the end, Moira converts to other prostitutes and submits to the authority of Gilead, in order to relieve her insecurity in this >lesbian paradise<. This convergence and subordination is a manifestation of her alienation. Finally, this thesis analyzes the ironic alienation of Serena Joy. Before the establishment of Gilead, Serena, an anti-feminist, devoted herself to giving speeches about how women should stay at home, and her work as a speaker was indicative of her true self. But in Gilead, she was forced to give up her job and become a housewife, losing her true self and leaving her in a state of loneliness and anxiety. In order to escape from this loneliness and anxiety, Serena mechanically assimilates to the Gilead culture and becomes a competent housewife to gain a sense of identity. This identity gives Serena a sense of secondary self, which is used to develop a pseudo-self that replaces her true self. The acceptance of housewifery represents the occurrence of alienation in Serena, and the sexless and loveless marriage leads to the lack of Serena's ability to love, thus deepening her alienation. Ultimately, Serena is completely subjugated to the patriarchal power machine created by her accomplices, and becomes what Fromm calls a completely alienated person. In conclusion, this paper analyzes the alienation of women in a patriarchal totalitarian regime and reveals the all-encompassing oppression of women's bodies and minds by patriarchal totalitarianism. By imagining such a society, Atwood presents us with a dystopian yet realistic and terrifying future. Atwood aims to show that a society ruled by patriarchal totalitarianism not only alienates women and thus severely hinders their psychological perception of themselves, but also diminishes the humanity and agency of all human beings, including men, whose development and advancement require healthy human beings who are not alienated in mind and body. [Translation: www.DeepL/Translator, free version, 6/2021]

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Metadaten
Author:Jiahui Li
Document Type:Dissertations
Language:Chinese
Year of first Publication:2020
Release Date:2022/05/04
Format:no download and copy possible
IdNo:Li_Jiahui_2020
Writings about Erich Fromm (Secondary Literature):Dissertations / Dissertationen
Erich Fromm's Library and Erich Fromm Archive:Dissertations / Dissertationen
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