The Fairy Queen as an Allegory

The Fairy Queen as an Allegory

Edmund Spenser the writer of Fairy Queen stands among the greatest writers of the Elizabethan period whose valuable contributions fashioned a new tradition in English literature. Nowadays he is hailed to be one of the chief initiators of the Renaissance movement in English literature. Spenser’s rich and vigorous imagery, and careful treatment of metrical structure left a profound influence on the succeeding poets and ensured his place as one of the seminal literary artists in the flamboyant field of English literature.

Spenser reached the highest pinnacle of his art and invention with his romantic tour de force The Faerie Queene. It has been hailed as Spenser’s masterpiece, the supreme triumph of the poetic art in English literature. The poem is an allegorical romance symbolising the moral and spiritual journey of an individual through innumerable temptations of sins towards the ultimate attainment of glory and truth. The poem thus has a serious purpose behind its fanciful characters, settings and events. All the characters in The Faerie Queene have allegorical significance since they represent abstract ideas. The title character, the Fairy Queen (Gloriana) herself, is meant to represent Queen Elizabeth. The Red Cross Knight who is appointed by the Fairy Queen to assist Lady Una in releasing her parents from the prison of Dragon is the embodiment of Holiness, piety, and true religion (Protestantism). Lady Una stands for truth, goodness and wisdom. Her parents symbolise humanity held by Evil represented by the foul Dragon. The mission of Holiness is to champion the cause of Truth and regain the right of human race, held by subjection by the mighty force of Evil.

For a Christian to be holy, he must have true faith. So Holiness must be grounded in Truth in order to remain pure and immaculate in the world. As long as Truth and Holiness are united no evildoer can stand against holiness. The power of truth invigourates Holiness. The plot of Book I mostly concerns the attempts of evildoers to separate Red Cross from Una to decrease his strength. Most of these villains are meant by Spenser to represent one thing in common: the Roman Catholic Church. The poet felt that, in the English Reformation, the people had defeated “false religion” (Catholicism) and embraced “true religion” (Protestantism/Anglicanism).So Red Cross must defeat villains who mimic the falsehood of the Roman Church. In the course of his mission he and Una come upon various manifestations of evil. The first encounter is with monster Error. The monster Error allegorically stands for all sorts of mistakes which every individual makes in the course of his life. The fight of the Red Cross Knight with the monster Error symbolises the conflict between Protestantism and Catholicism. The books and papers vomited by Error allude to the offensive pamphlets directed against Queen Elizabeth by the Roman Catholics.

The Red Cross Knight may able to defeat these obvious and disgusting errors, but until he is united to the truth he is totally lost and can be easily deceived. This deceit is arranged by Archimago, who symbolises the hypocrisy of Papacy. When Truth and Holiness are separated, Hypocrisy gets the chance to mislead Holiness. The separation of Truth from Holiness symbolises the danger of the English Church against the hypocrisy and plots of the Roman Catholicism.

Once separated, Holiness is susceptible to the opposite of truth or falsehood. Red Cross may able to defeat the strength of Sansfoy or faithlessness through his own native virtue, but he falls prey to the tricks of Falsehood herself –Duessa. Duessa also represents the Roman Church, both because she is “false faith”, and of her rich, purple and gold clothing, which, for Spenser, displays the greedy wealth and arrogant pomp of Rome. Historically Duessa stands for Queen Mary who was a Roman Catholic by faith. Having been separated from Truth, the Holiness becomes weak and feeble. He cannot withstand the fierce attack of Falsehood and becomes a prey to Duessa. Red Cross becomes a veritable puppet in the hands of Duessa. In the similar manner Truth also becomes weak and in order to protect her virtue she gets aid and succour from Lion which stands for Courage. But subsequently the hypocrisy of Archimago makes her an easy victim Sans Loy who stands for lawlessness. She is later saved by Sir Satyrane who is a symbol of the Natural force. The implication here is very clear and concrete. Truth cannot be subjected to Lawlessness for long. It has a natural force which would assuredly impel it to reassert itself against all hindrance. The humility, symbolised by the Dwarf, informs Truth the story of the sufferings of Holiness. Then Truth goes in search of Gloriana, the Fairy Queen and Holiness is led to the palace of Divine Grace by Truth. There he recovers his former strength. He is now ready to fight against the malignant forces of nature.

Thus at the end Spenser represents the triumph of Holiness and Truth. They may be separated by various evildoers but ultimately they are united again to bring about the redemption and moral salvation of human race.

Prince Arthur and the Fairy Queen.
Prince Arthur and the Fairy Queen. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gender and Language Theory

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GENDER AND LANGUAGE THEORY

Gender is a social construct and cultural construct while sex is sex is biological distinction. On the other hand gender is quite different from sex. It is the quality referred to a sex. Since last two decades we that the term gender has got popular by the post structuralist feminists. It is complex in origin and nature.

Swann, 1998 views that biological distinction is not enough to explore the differences in sex. The variation of Masculinity and femininity develops from generations and cultures these are not fixed and reversible (Wodak 1997, Tulbot 1998).

Language in itself is cultural and social reality. It is perception of oneself and others. Speaker and listener are key agents that understand not only linguistically but also lexical constructed upon ideological grounds. Language creates the gender identities. Social status, power, authorities, identities within a particular society are constructed through language. Language is the road map for understanding the feminist discourses and texts.

 Antik views that language is not even but it is variable and complex. Linguistics resources provide us choice to construct meaningful communication (Antik, 1994). Suppose if there is atopic of “abortion” different classes of society like doctors, media, legislators will use different linguistic choices to construct language on the gender ideologies base in a society.

As regard to femininity (ies) in a society gender and language plays pivotal role in establishing and constructing these ideologies and identities (Graddol & Swan, 1989). The same reflection is found in works of western writers, colonial literature and feminist writers views all identities and femininity (ies) in their literacy works. There are two different approaches feminist and non feminists regarding gender construction. Lexical approach and generic discourse vocabulary usage is also socially construction (Lia Litosselitti, Gendrer and Language Theory and Practice, 2006).

Gender "femininity" day 124/365 365 days of me
“femininity” day 124/365 365 days of me (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Patriarchy and its Discourse

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Patriarchy and its Discourse

Early feminists of Victorian age revolted against patriarchal language but post structuralist feminists did not just focused upon suffrage movement but the developed the issue and rebel against the male dominance. Iragery (1998) views that patriarchal discourses are based upon power and political determinism. The same politics and power developing discursive femininities through language is differently cited and viewed by Julia Kristina, (Strangers to ourselves, 1989), Gayatri Spivak (On other worlds, 1995), Catharine Clemet’s (Opera,1998 undoing of women).

SUBJECTIVITY AND BEASLEY’S VIEW

Beasely also views that women are considered as pet creature to men. They have to work the household and to develop the children instead of the professionals like doctor and architecture. The fiction must play role to construct subjectivity about women. The term subject and subjectivity refers that meaning in text are never fixed. It is the reader that construct it .the research aims to investigate the patriarchal effects created in the text developed by Ibsen in “A Doll’s House”.

MILLS DISCOURSE

Sara Mills views that the women. about its importance  feminism over the writings of founded through travel writings that was not earlier developed femininities within society. Female writers of Victorian age and post modern age have visible subject matter differences in literary works (Morris, 1979: 23). She analyses the women travel writers theme of discourses. Though all their works are Hetrogenitic and complex phenomenon. Constraints in writings have been used by female writers (Hulme 1986, O Porter 1982).

Victorian age is considered that few feminist writers emerged at the surface due to the patriarchal oppression. Colonial discourses and Victorian literature finds less similarities due to cross cultural impact and text (Worley, 1986: 40). Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Hulman and Mary Louise used objectivity, escapism and  especially individuality is key subject that is contradictory to literature of female writers of 19th century. Imperialism represented the real picture of the British women.

Foucault’s work on power and language ‘he believes that power is economy (Focault, 1992a: 109). He further says that speech acts of text and discourses represent reality by organizing them and finding the fluidity and unspoken elements of discourses. He concludes the ambiguity in women writings using the language as authority and power.

 The surface and deeper level analysis predicts the facts as “Hermeneutic” analysis says that there is no text, the thing is interpretation.

“Power is convinced as sort of grand,absolute subject… who attributes what is forbidden on the side on which power is suffered. There is an equal tendency to ‘subjective’ it, by determining the point at which the acceptance of the indirect occurs, the point at which one says ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to power” (Foucault in Morris and Patton, 1979: 54).

Mills finds out the failure of critics in finding out the Gender identity and lack of perceptions. She concentrate on short texts and represent the discourse analysis of feminist perspective. She argues that women writers should frame different types of discourses. The key types are Confessional discourse and Feminine discourse. Confess is there to adhere the reality and admit the daily facts that are not confessed by writers. The second one she stats that represents the femininity and heterosexuality. She pictures the representation in famous book “Feminist Stylistics”1995. She clearly concludes that writing style of women is different than male writer. She believes that foregrounding in texts makes it different. In representation of text gender is necessary element .the speech acts; language of discourse is actually reflection of the writer’s gender identity.

CLASSICAL VS MODERN PATRIARCHY  

It is an agreed fact by research and scholars that women is always taken as the subordinate and inhabitant creature. Women has been represented by weak and negative characters since the origin of the English literature.

“BEOWOLF”  and other ancient vernaculars shows the dominance and authoritative value of male being the patriarchal society. On the other hand the famous writers like Shakespeare represents female in comedies and tragedies “King Lear, Twelfth Night” in same boat, G.B Shaw in Major Barbra and ‘The Arms and the Men’, Ibsen in ‘A Doll’s House while in poetry John Donne in “A Faerie Queen” and Chaucer’s character “A Wife of Bath” represented the women in their patriarchal ideological sense. As far the modern dramatists concern we see after the third wave of feminism women is quite different in gender role. O Neil’s drama “Juno & Paycock” is one of the senile representation of women as domesticated animal in male dominated society.

The stereotypical role of men and women is beautifully depicted by Virginia Woolf in (Women and fiction, 1998). She argues that our fathers are distinctive that made law but what about our mothers that just a tradition.

             “One was beautiful, one was red haired, one was kissed by a queen, we know nothing of them except  their names and dates of their marriages and number of children they bore” (Woolf in Women and Fiction, 1998).

 It is described by different feminists that sex is biological category while gender is social construct (Weedon 1987 & Millet 1997). Modern male writers presents the role of the female in society in real sense as Henrik Ibsen points out the gender role of ‘NORA’ in ‘A Doll’s House’. The terms got popular in 1960 by Lakoff’s article “Language and Women place”, he argues that both sex are different in talk and all is result of male supremacy. Judith believes that modern feminists committed a mistake by talking female common in character and objectives (Gender Trouble 1990).

Patriarchy & Discourse

Feminism and Virginia Woolf

Feminism and Virginia Woolf

In the race of feminism, one of the great feminist writer was Virginia Woolf. She is the pioneer of the literature reflecting the women troubleanities, inequalities, gender and identities differences, femininity (ies) and masculinity (ies) with true pen. Earlier the women was represented by the male writer in literature, that is why we find “Pamela” and Shakespearean women in ‘king Lear’ and ‘Hamlet’ as subordinate class. Even Donne’s women are not optimist in poetry. The patriarchal discourses was firstly was challenged by Virginia Woolf in  “A ROOM OF ONE’S OWN”.

Feminism piece of literature that forces the female by its tremendous discourse to revolt against patriarchy and seeks equality and rebel to male dominance.

She was a “touch stone” for contemporaries and predecessors. Woolf believes that women are socially and economically disable. Men have prejudice and economic selfishness(1992: 14). She also uses the stream of consciousness by representing the feelings and emotions suppressed by men by physical torture and linguistic choices in  discourses. She expresses her feeling as

                       “A room which a women may call her own and which she can be inhabit with same freedom as her brother”(Woolf, 1992: 191).

The male dominance and female subjugation is strictly criticized by realistic pen. She argues that fluidity comes if women have same freedom of expression like men. She argues further that women will not contribute in literature due to less access and material resources available to men. She strictly follows the capitalism and Marxism by saying that poverty has bitterly affected the literature.

Woolf, Language and Power

Spender (1980) states in hi most famous book “Men Made Language” that language in origin and implication men made. Male has strict control over language as power and claim to be master and women are subordinate to men in all patriarchal societies. She tells that men construct femininity (ies) through language. Spender is mile stone in feminism. Amebella Moorey & Sutori Soden (2010) argues in “Language, Society and Power (an introduction), that society, culture, ethnicity, class and gender has strong grip at thought. It is determiner of class and status. Language construct identities and femininity (ies). It is complex phenomenon of social construct.

         Jenifer Coates, 2004 (women, men and language) justify that how male form dominance by language and talk differently and using  language as power and prejudice. They are actually all the followers of Woolf.

 

Feminism: Portrait of Virginia Woolf
Portrait of Virginia Woolf (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Feminism & Britton’s Concept of “WE”

Feminism & Britton’s Concept of “WE”

 

         In feminism, Britton believes in regard to femininity (ies) and identities in what are those that “make the world” and what are the basis to create distinctions behind.

 

                        “the subjects and events of the world do not present themselves to us ready classified . the categories into which they are divided are the categories into which we divided them” (1975: 23).

Spender 1975 also considers that powerful determination is language. Men has made world to imprison women, culturally and domestically. Dominance is of men. Britton argues that women are inhabited and passive in role in men made world. The power value and authorities reflects in reality. The value of men is anti to women. No doubt that patriarchal society represent women in comparison to men as ‘OTHER” and “I” is always in subjective position to men in ideologies and discourse(Belsey: 1985, Mullinex: 1996, Orgell: 1997).

 

       In the first wave of feminism women are less independent as in Victorian society of Ibsen that is actually the start of gender equalization in form of feminist movements like Suffrage ,comparatively the dramas novels  of Victorian society of late 18th and 19th century of autobiographical by women writers on the other hand male writes depicts the society  as art for art sake while female writers use pseudo name to hide their identity under the supremacy  of man in patriarchal society.

 

  If we talk about the modern literature the “WE” referred by Britton, the division and organization is based on which principles?, Who make the world? Spender argues that Britton actually refers to male. So male is a superior group producing culture, language… contradicting values of man are against to the values of women. So that why women  writers are always at wish to reshape the set of norms and values to produce objectivity instead of subjectivity. Women of classical literature is quite different from women of post modern literature. Feminist movements has changed the ideologies of female writers from autobiography to realism, feminism and other social draw backs .modern women writer it self dependant than Victorian. Trend has been set by Virginia Woolf. Women is now writing for women is challenge to early and female writers that use pseudonym to explore the realities discursive constructed by men.

Feminism: One of the symbols of German Women's ...
Feminism: One of the symbols of German Women’s movement (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Henrik Ibsen, Feminism & Drama

A Short History of Drama & Henrik Ibsen

Henrik Ibsen was a great modern Dramatist. Drama means to perform. In ancient times it was performed at stage or called and later on in public places theaters and auditoriums. Drama has long history that starts from Greeks. We find mimetic dramas based upon public feasts and inform of rituals. These forms are considered as the origination of drama. It was started from BC 525 and onward. The ancient dramas that are actually tragedies or heroic in nature. We find Oedipus Rex and ant gone by Sophocles. These are pure ancient classics. There language, plots, themes all are unique and appreciated by the literary critics. Drama has two main kinds: comedy and tragedy. Both are parallel to each other. Comedy got started by Oltandish Buffoonery in 350 BC. Roman empire and puritans age is considered one of the dark land stagnant period in the history of drama. Elizabethan age is flourishing age in which Shakespeare wrote comedy and tragedies. Each is has its particular theory of drama as classical neo-classical, realism and Marxism, capitalism, theater of absurd, existentialism and post modern drama. As for as the matter of female writer is concerned in regard to feminism , we see that the mid of 16th century female writers started to contribute but with pseudonymous.  Romanticism flourished in the 18th century that  old to classical and neo-classical thoughts. Each writer has own philosophy of writing and themes. Prose and novel also came to existence to the beginning o the 19th century but we see the drama having the femininity, ideologies and identities were introduced by Ibsen. He introduced realism to support the suffrage movement for female rights. He contributed with magical pen that become the corner stone for predecessors and women writers to participate in the feminist movements for equality and challenging the man made operation on patriarchal society.

History of English literature & Henrik Ibsen

History of English literature is started from 325 BC. The oldest genre of literature  is poetry. Though there is no pet however historically we divide history in four categories as old English, middle English, renaissance, modern literature, post modern literature. We have one of the old piece of literature as “ BEOWULF”. King Alfred and Aelfric are the pioneer of literature. Middle English literature is is also res round poetry, the key figure is Chaucer with his famous work “The Canterbury Tales”. William Langland is also contemporary to Chaucer. once we travel to 16th century we find the majestic features of English literature, Christopher Marlow, Sydney, Spencer and Shakespeare, they contributed a lot not only in poetry but also revolution of drama was brought about in the field of literature. History, tragedy, comedy plays were written. The King Lear  are the great dramas of the age. Poetry also introduced romantic, classical, natural, metaphysical and super natural in subject; epics are also originated by Dryden and Pope also got popularity in 18th century. Jane Austen and Walter Scot are the prominent figures. Nineteen century brought slight changes. Now women got entered in the writers family. Emily Bronte and Charlotte Bronte also earned the fame. G.B. Shaw and E.M Foster participated in the field of essay writing. Though puritan age is one of the dark age in English history but after the restoration English literature got flourished, female writers left the tradition of pseudonym and the 20th century is bulky with female writers. The realism, romanticism, classical writings, noe-classical literature and after the world wars the term of existentialism got popularity. As far as the matter of female writers concern we find that after Henrik Ibsen, Virginia Woolf developed the term feminism to get liberty and equal rights as men had. Male dominance was challenged. The women were always portrayed by male writers as domestic inhabit but after the three waves of feminism the male line society was changed to equality of gender. Now the femininity (ies) and masculinity (ies) are challenged. Henrik Ibsen is pioneer in this regard to feminism.

English: Norwegian writer Henrik Ibsen photo p...
English: Norwegian writer Henrik Ibsen photo portrait later in his career (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Femininity, Masculinity and Gender

FEMININITY AND MASCULINITY

Femininity and Masculinity deals with the ideologies constructed socially with in a society on its ethnic,cultural and norms base. Following is the further elaboration of the both terms.

Femininity

It is a set of ideologies that develops socially and  forms womanly personality. This development remains continue from childhood to adulthood. It is an abstract quality which particular attributes are linked to women. Femininity is always constructed by society and that is why in patriarchal society women are considered to hug subordination to man. All and centric societies bear language of binary opposition. It may be rational or irrational, aggressiveness and politeness and dictate or subordinate. Even achievements of human are expressed in male perspective of language. Women are considered as soft, sympathetic, gentle and soft spoken.

“it is actually a social construct . It is womenness of women created discursively by language and culture. Skaggs believes that it occur with little ethnically, social, poetical worth”(Skaggs-1997-10).

Masculinity

It is  associated to the behavior of male constructed by society in terms of au do not bear this then authorities and power. Male is considered as brave, strong, aggressive, dominating, egoistic and independent. If he do not bear this then he is foppish and sissy. Glover and Kaplan (2000-p.60-61) views

“The differences between men and women has to be sharply emphasized and feminine traits has to be kept their proper place in men. They were a sign of weakness”.

 

SEX, SEXUALITY AND GENDER

Sexuality and gender both terms have dependence upon each other. The analysis of sexuality involves Gender as a whole. The whole since is reflective in vice versa.  Sexually men is considered more aggressive than women. Heterosexuality makes a men a real men a women true (Cameron& Kellick 2003,p 6-7).

Sexual impulses are developing right from childhood but society in itself force these impulses and mold the role of sex as per to gender. Sterling views (1995.p132)

“Genetics and hormones countless in making a man more a women.than does a socialization…..child born a male but raised a female becomes a heterosexual female”.

Oakley (1985) says “sex is a word that refers to the biological differences between male and female .the visible in genitalia  the related differences in procreative function. “Gender” however is a matter of culture. It refers to a social classification into a Masculine and Feminine”(cited in Colebrook,2004). So gender is in fact masculinity and femininity constructed by society while sex is chromosomal and biological attribute that is in shape of female or male.

WHAT IS IDENTITY?

It is a complex and debatable terminology. The issue of identity has its importance in the ideological world. It may be related to a particular place, location, or society indeed. But unfortunately, the matter is not yet resolved. It has state of flux. (Stroller,1968) worked a lot and developed the term “identity” and believes that identity develops from the conscious or unconscious knowledge and is a flux and complicated process.

GENDER IDENTITY

Stoller 1968—Kapline & Glover, 2000 initially introduced and developed the term “Gender Identity” and “Gender Role”. It means development of child’s knowledge bearing one sex .it distinguishes one sex to the others or feminine from masculine. This awareness builds the identity.

           “Gender identity starts with the knowledge and awareness, whether conscious or unconscious, that one belongs to one sex not to others. Though as one develops, gender identity become much complicated so that, such as one may sense himself as a male but a masculine man or an effeminate men or even as men who fantasies being a women”

GENDER ROLE

It has been got popular and introduced by psycho-linguists to describe the “Behavioral patterns”, appropriate to each sex. It may be describe through relations, clothing, and attitudes. This role is predetermined by sex. But Och, 1995 is opposite in thoughts and believes in construction and enactment via discourses. So as to interactionists approach roles are not fixed to Gender. It is vary to one country, culture, ethnicity and race.

Femininity Sexuality confusion
Sexuality confusion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

FEMINISM A SHORT HISTORY

WHAT IS FEMINISM

 

According to oxford dictionary the term feminism means

“The advocacy of women rights on the grounds of political social and economic equality to men”(oxford dictionary)

John Johnson Lewis points out that feminism movement is contradictive and unequal stasis to women in patriarchal society on the base of social, ideological, racial, ethnical and cultural belief. It is corner stone for women. There have been different movements rum by modern and post modern feminists to make the identities and femininities desirable

 

A SHORT HISTORY OF FEMINISM

The term “Feminism “ got popularity since 19th century this was considerable movement for equal status of women that has lost in all aspects since creation of men. English language is manmade and also remained conservative cultural inspect over society in gender, identity and femininity perspective. Aristotle said “female is a female by virtue of a certain lake of qualities “. But later authors, writers recognized the fact and started to deconstructed the lost identity of women that is not a nut shell or miraculous and of male dominance in language and society it is dependent upon historically divided  three waves and to be continue yet.

Though feminism got route in 18th century from America and Britton. A movement “A vindication of rights of women” was started by Wellstone craft. Later on mill also sported. Suffrage movement was first pace at large level. Maggie Humn discussed about different psychoanalytical linguistic theories in construction of femininities by women movement. Virginia Woolf played a vital role by creating conscious to women and wrote “A Rome of one’s own “.

Second wave of feminism developed in 1960. Simone de Beauvoir published 1960. New feminist news paper, Enouvelles feminism and a journal “questions feminists, Marxism, capitalism, civil right movement started.”The second sex is a master piece that is panacea to seek the binary cultural construction and male supremacy. Friedan’s talk for Heterosexuality and molded the women.

Third wave feminism is based on strucuctural and post structural and Maxilion theories that identify the gender and sexual differences. Elaine Showaltr argueswomen representation in literature is dominated by male discourse.  Dale spender (1980) suggested that women are under oppression of men constructed by his language to.  She consider it a social construction and complex in nature.  Lackoff, women language is inferior by male dominance in patriarchal society. The idea of motherless and fatherless discourse was influenced by post structuralism. we find a clear interruptions in famine text based on subjectivity after influence of third wave of feminism. This is the great achievement of feminist movements that genders is both male and female a social construct based on biological differences the sex and gender and masculinity and femininity are more elaborated and influenced throughout cultures. It also explore the language role on sex, identity ideology and political grounds.

Feminism
Woman-power symbol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Utilitarianism ‘On Liberty’ John Stuart Mill

‘On Liberty’ Utilitarianism

‘On Liberty’, The canonical statement of Mill’s utilitarianism can be found in Utilitarianism. This philosophy has a long tradition, although Mill’s account is primarily influenced by Jeremy Bentham and Mill’s father James Mill.

Mill’s famous formulation of utilitarianism is known as the “greatest-happiness principle”. It holds that one must always act so as to produce the greatest aggregate happiness among all sentient beings, within reason. Mill’s major contribution to utilitarianism is his argument for the qualitative separation of pleasures. Bentham treats all forms of happiness as equal, whereas Mill argues that intellectual and moral pleasures are superior to more physical forms of pleasure. Mill distinguishes between happiness and contentment, claiming that the former is of higher value than the latter, a belief wittily encapsulated in the statement that “it is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied. And if the fool, or the pig, are of a different opinion, it is because they only know their own side of the question.”

Mill defines the difference between higher and lower forms of happiness with the principle that those who have experienced both tend to prefer one over the other. This is, perhaps, in direct contrast with Bentham’s statement that “Quantity of pleasure being equal, push-pin is as good as poetry”, that, if a simple child’s game like hopscotch causes more pleasure to more people than a night at the opera house, it is more imperative upon a society to devote more resources to propagating hopscotch than running opera houses. Mill’s argument is that the “simple pleasures” tend to be preferred by people who have no experience with high art, and are therefore not in a proper position to judge. Mill supported legislation that would have granted extra voting power to university graduates on the grounds that they were in a better position to judge what would be best for society. It should be noted that, in this example, Mill did not intend to devalue uneducated people and would certainly have advocated sending the poor but talented to universities: he believed that education, and not the intrinsic nature of the educated, qualified them to have more influence in government.

The qualitative account of happiness that Mill advocates thus sheds light on his account presented in On Liberty. As Mill suggests in that text, utility is to be conceived in relation to mankind “as a progressive being”, which includes the development and exercise of his rational capacities as he strives to achieve a “higher mode of existence”. The rejection of censorship and paternalism is intended to provide the necessary social conditions for the achievement of knowledge and the greatest ability for the greatest number to develop and exercise their deliberative and rational capacities.

‘On Liberty’ Economic philosophy

Mill’s early economic philosophy was one of free markets. However, he accepted interventions in the economy, such as a tax on alcohol, if there were sufficient utilitarian grounds. He also accepted the principle of legislative intervention for the purpose of animal welfare. Mill originally believed that “equality of taxation” meant “equality of sacrifice” and that progressive taxation penalized those who worked harder and saved more and was therefore “a mild form of robbery”.

Given a tax break to the rich, Mill agreed that inheritance should be taxed. A utilitarian society would agree that everyone should be equal one way or another. Therefore receiving inheritance would put one ahead of society unless taxed on the inheritance. Those who donate should consider and choose carefully where their money goes—some charities are more deserving than others. Considering public charities boards such as a government will disperse the money equally. However a private charity board like a church would disperse the monies fairly to those who are in more need than others.

Later he altered his views toward a more socialist bent, adding chapters to his Principles of Political Economy in defense of a socialist outlook, and defending some socialist causes. Within this revised work he also made the radical proposal that the whole wage system be abolished in favour of a co-operative wage system. Nonetheless, some of his views on the idea of flat taxation remained, albeit in a slightly toned down form.

Mill’s Principles of Political Economy, first published in 1848, was one of the most widely read of all books on economics in the period. As Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations had during an earlier period, Mill’s Principles dominated economics teaching. In the case of Oxford University it was the standard text until 1919. The text that replaced it was written by Cambridge’s Alfred Marshall.

‘On Liberty’ Economic democracy

Mill promoted economic democracy in the capitalist economy whereby labourers would elect members of management. Mill believed that this was necessary to end what he deemed to be dictatorial management of capitalist firms and to establish liberty and equality in the capitalist economy. Mill’s promotion of the right of labourers to elect management has been seen as support for economic corporatism.

Mill’s views on the environment

Mill demonstrated an early insight into the value of the natural world – in particular in Book IV, chapter VI of “Principles of Political Economy”: “Of the Stationary State” in which Mill recognised wealth beyond the material, and argued that the logical conclusion of unlimited growth was destruction of the environment and a reduced quality of life. He concluded that a stationary state could be preferable to neverending economic growth:

I cannot, therefore, regard the stationary state of capital and wealth with the unaffected aversion so generally manifested towards it by political economists of the old school.

If the earth must lose that great portion of its pleasantness which it owes to things that the unlimited increase of wealth and population would extirpate from it, for the mere purpose of enabling it to support a larger, but not a better or a happier population, I sincerely hope, for the sake of posterity, that they will be content to be stationary, long before necessity compel them to it.

English: John Stuart Mill. 19th century Photog...
John Stuart Mill. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Symbolism in A Doll’s House Ibsen

Symbolism in A Doll’s House Ibsen

WHAT IS SYMBOLISM?

Symbolism is literacy device used by prominent playwrights in history of English literature. Keats, Blake, Shelly, O’Neil and Henrik Ibsen used symbolic representation of subject in conventional or unconventional forms. Poet explores mysties through symbolic representation. In this context  “ Symbolism Manifesto” was written by (Moreas,1986). Furthermore symbolism, Jane Austin’s pride and prejudice, T.S Eliot’s “The Wast Land” and Ulysses 1992 by James Joyce are the best symbolic works.

Ibsen significantly uses the symbols (symbolism) to represent the identities and ideologies of 19th century. He uses different symbols that relate to not only culture, religion,politics but also that  bears the psychological effects indeed. It is unique developed myth of literature that illuminate the hidden facts un utterly. Symbols like door, macron, embroidered dress, tree, and even the title itself is symbolic and influence at the society.

“in theatre image and object, pretense and pretender, sign-vehicle and content, draw usually close”(Bert 1996: 20).

Symbols are the portraits of the illusions and bonds of society, here Ibsen is constructing in form of ‘NORA’ in A Doll’s House. Though Shakespeare plays are  beyond to Ibsen age but both uses theatrical symbols even one is Norwegian and other is Englishmen.

IBSEN’S VIEW ABOUT SYMBOLISM

Ibsen himself says’

  “to try and give the reader the impression of experiencing a piece of reality”(Ibsen qtd in homer :p.72).

The language, setting and even dress, parties are realistic features shown in symbols. Ibsen portrays the bourgeois features and finedfemininities, ideologies and identities in this drama and believes in the freedom and equality of woman.

Following are the symbols used by the Ibsen

Door’s Symbolism

Play open with door in setting, Nora walks towards door is sign of imprisonment of woman of 19th century under the bond of marriage. She seems to be happy but in fact critics peep inside the door and find the femininity (ies) and identities of domesticate woman.

“A room furnished comfortably and tastefully, but not extravagantly. At the back, a door to the right leads to the entrance-hall, an other to the left leads to HELMER:’s study. Between the doors stands a piano. In the middle of the left-hand wall is a door, and beyond it a window. Near the window are a round table, arm-chairs and a small sofa. In the right-hand wall, at the farther end, another door; and on the same side, nearer the footlights, a stove, two easy chairs and a rocking-chair; between the stove and the door, a small table”.(Ibsen, A doll’ s House: 2)

The whole drama is performed inside the room. That also brings the capitalistic perspective of the society. The door opening is actually view of the domestic situation in patriarchal society we find at the dismissal of the relations again the door is in front of Nora to celebrate freedom as earlier she entered in cage created by men

MACRONS’ Symbolism

Ibsen provides non verbal feminists clues as Nora’s shawl, macron, tree etc..

“Just now. [Puts the bag of macaroons into her pocket and wipes her mouth.] Come in here, Torvald, and see what I have bought”.(Ibsen, A Dolls House:4)

The self independence is governed by Torveld is depicted by Ibsen. Suffrage movement was one of the central reaction against this male monopoly. Woman was not free physically and oppressed psychologically too. That is why Nora is subordinate creature to Helmer. “She shut the door, she continues to laugh, she takes off her things, she takes a bag of macrons out of her pocket and eats one or two”

In the male dominance the issue of identities and femininities is at the verge of collapse and the gradual intensity of this tyranny make persuade to other sex to rebel and snatch the freedom that was got by Nora at the end of  play. She transgendered her identity.

CHRISTMAS TREE’s Symbolism

Christmas tree is symbolic representation of the Nora’s personality. It is decorated as Nora would be on Christmas day and there is a star twinkle top of the tree that represent the hope and ambitions of Nora. The new year that starts from Christmas is symbolic to the feminists movements that give liberty to Nora against the male dominance. Nora is as attractive in multidimensional identity, a mother a daughter , a wife hence she is a pleasing object constructed by Ibsen as religion refers to Christmas.

John Northon argues that,

“the symbols is for the first time, a physical reality on the stage, a mere enough to it suggest actual presence. It is therefore both fact and symbol and from that fusion emerges the closure union of symbolism and reality which makes the play so complexly significant (the wild duck 1884, p.105-06)

SQUIRREL SKYLARK’s Symbolism

“Is that my little lark twittering out there”?(Ibsen, A Doll’s House:5)

Ibsen uses the animated and in animated choices and refers Nora to  innocent bird like skylark. The linguistic choices in symbolic representation are patriarchal in nature has Sapirwhorf hypothesis languages is determined by thought and that thought gives strength to male to manipulate and enjoy the power of language Nora is inhibited in Helmer’s house and she is praised by him in metaphoric speech pattern but at the end the same skylark is ready to fly for freedom autonomy

TITLE as Symbolism

The title is in itself a symbolic note describing the femininity and identity of the Victorian society doll is a playful object for everyone and even that is a decoration piece feeling less and emotionless  she is a puppet in the hand of Torveld who want to push the strings according to his wish. Nora also apparently functions as commanded doll but in the end of the play writer is succeeded to awake her from subordination and rebel from the male dominance. She is now independent and making her decision according to her will and choice. The last line she uttered is sign of change bringing the equal rights without gender segregation. The whole drama is full with linguistic lexical and symbolic references representing the female of Ibsen’s “A Doll’s house”.

TOYS’ Symbolism

“Yes, yes, it will. But come here and let me show you what I have bought. And all so cheap! Look, here is a new suit for Ivar, and a sword; and a horse and a trumpet for Bob;  a doll and dolly’s bedstead for Emmy,—”(Ibsen, A Doll’s House:5)

 

Toys are the clear picture of thee development of ideology and identity.  Nora has bought “a horse and a sword” for her earlier son  so that male is initially represented as holder of power and authority while the gifts  for Emmy are  dolls that is the significant example to build femininity (ies) and masculinity (ies) culturally that is why Emma is gifted  by a doll. Ibsen says that a woman of his century is much advanced and womanhood is a socially constructed phenomenon created by men and   female writers as symbolism.

Symbolism: Portrait of Henrik Ibsen by Henrik Olrik
English: Portrait of Henrik Ibsen by Henrik Olrik (Photo credit: Wikipedia)