THE REPRESENTATION OF THE FEMALE PROTAGONIST IN JOANNE HARRIS’S NOVEL “GENTLEMEN AND PLAYERS”

Keywords: metamodernism, gender imbalance, alienation, mutant woman, trickster, carnivalesque, grotesque

Abstract

The paper zeroes in on the peculiarities of representing the main female character in a British novel “Gentlemen and Players” published in 2005. The crucial point that the research encompasses is a challenge to the status quo of gender imbalance which is portrayed, inter alia, through showing a certain playfulness of the main character. Notably, playfulness must be read here as a form of (social/cultural/political) subversion, which enables one to look beyond and deconstruct “arbitrary ranks/truths”. The carnivalesque nature of the female protagonist is manifested in connection with the changing status of women in contemporary societies. The image of a submissive woman fabricated by men still lingers in many cultures. This gives rise to a mutant woman, mirrored with the help of a subversive fictional female character who is a trickster. It is evinced that the fossilized patterns of perceiving a woman, and attitudes towards her in the male-dominated environment are likely to pose an impending threat, not only to men’s lives but also to the lives of children and other women. Affected by a number of factors, the female protagonist reveals her eclectic identity and we witness how she turns into a monstrous creature with overwhelming destructive power inside. Consequently, the authenticity of the woman suffers and we may talk about her symbolic death.

References

1. Abramson, S. (2018). On Metamodernism. Medium. Philosophy, 16 April 2018. https://medium. com/@Seth_Abramson/on-metamodernism-926fdc55bd6a
2. Bakhtin, M. (1984). Rabelais and His World. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
3. https://monoskop.org/images/7/70/Bakhtin_Mikhail_Rabelais_and_His_World_1984.pdf
4. Bakhtin, M. (2010). “Tvorchestvo Fransua Rable i narodnaya kultura Srednevekovya i Renes¬sansa” [Rablelais’s Ouevre and the Folk Culture of the Middle Ages and Renaissance]. In M. Bakhtin. Sobranie sochinenij v 7-mi tomakh. T. 4 (2), 7–516. Moscow: Yazyki slavyanskikh kultur. [in Russian]
5. Barinova, K. (2012). “Neobkhodimiye parametry analiza karnavalizovannykh proizvedenij 1920-h godov v trudakh M. Bakhtina” [The Necessary Parameters of Analyzing the Carni¬valized Works in M. Bakhtin’s Writings]. SuperInf.ru Informatsionnie materiali dlia studentov, 14 July 2012. URL: https://superinf.ru/view_helpstud.php?id=4270. [in Russian]
6. Boswell, M. (2003). Understanding David Foster Wallace. Understanding Contemporary American Literature, P. 128 – 156. Columbia University of South Carolina Press.
7. Cajkova S. (2004). “Bakhtin’s Theory of the Grotesque Body in the Light of Feminist Criti¬cism”. Philologica LX. Eighty Years of English Studies at the Faculty of Arts. P. 191 – 197. Univerzita Komenskeho Bratislava.
8. Carlson, H. G. (1999). Out of Inferno. University of Washington Press.
9. Dember, G. (2018). “After Postmodernism: Eleven Metamodern Methods in the Arts”. WiM on Med, 17 April 2018. https://medium.com/what-is-metamodern/after-postmodernism-elev¬en-metamodern-methods-in-the-arts-767f7b646cae.
10. Dorfman, N. (2012). “Teoriya Karnavala M. Bakhtina v kontekste kollektivnogo bessoznatel¬nogo” [M. Bakhtin’s Carnival Theory in the Context of the Unconscious]. In V mire nauki i iskusstva: voprosy filologii, iskusstvovedeniya i kulturologii: sb. st. po mater. XVIII mezhdunar. nauch.-prakt. konf. Chast II. Novosibirsk: SibAK. https://sibac.info/conf/philolog/xviii/30560. [in Russian]
11. Harris, J. (2006). Gentlemen and Players. Great Britain: Black Swan.
12. Kristeva, J. (1982). Powers of Horror. An Essay on Abjection. Trans. Leon S. Roudiez. New York: Columbia University Press. http://users.clas.ufl.edu/burt/touchyfeelingsmaliciousob-jects/Kristevapowersofhorrorabjection.pdf.
13. Russo, M. (1995). The Female Grotesque: Risk, Excess, and Modernity. Routledge Taylor & Francis, New York and London. https://books.google.com.ua/books?id=PfGK3cnm-0IC&p-g=PA107&lpg=PA107&dq=mutant+woman&source=bl&ots=2qhuHyaWQI&sig=AC-fU3U3qmHMnhRFfiBbvr13mc-bkSFJlHg&hl=ru&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiZkK-76IniAhWk-lYsKHT60BiIQ6AEwFnoECAcQAQ#v=onepage&q=mutant%20woman&f=false.
14. Strizhevskaya, T. (2015). Karnavalnaya poetika romanov Dzhoann Harris [The Carnivalistic Poetics of Joanne Harris’s Works]. Specialnost 10. 01.03 – Literatura narodov stran zarubezhya (zapadnoevropejskaya literatura i literatura SShA). Avtoreferat dissertatsii po gumanitarnym naukam. Samara. URL: http://cheloveknauka.com/karnavalnaya-poetika-romanov-dzho¬ann-harris. [in Russian]
15. Timmer, N. (2010). Do You Feel It Too? The Post-Postmodern Syndrome in American Fiction at the Turn of the Millennium. Series: Postmodern Studies, Volume: 44. Amsterdam. New York: Editions Rodopi B. V.
16. Toth, Z. (2010). «Merry Murderers», The Female Grotesque in Chicago. Linguae.eu / A Tri¬mestrial European Scientific Language Review. Issue 4. October 2010 https://www.academia. edu/11874422/_Merry_Murderers_The_Female_Grotesque_in_Chicago.
17. Turner, L. (2015). “Metamodernism: A Brief Introduction”. Notes on Metamodernism, 12 Jan¬uary 2015. http://www.metamodernism.com/2015/01/12/metamodernism-a-brief-introduction/.
18. Vermeulen, T. & Van den Akker, R. (2010). “Notes on Metamodernism”. In Journal of Aes¬thetics & Culture Volume 2 – Issue 1. URL: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.3402/jac. v2i0.5677.
19. Jung, C. (1994). Psikhologiya bessoznatelnogo [The Psychology of the Unconscious]. M. : Kanon. [in Russian]

Abstract views: 29
PDF Downloads: 24
Published
2021-02-08
How to Cite
Bulyna, A. (2021). THE REPRESENTATION OF THE FEMALE PROTAGONIST IN JOANNE HARRIS’S NOVEL “GENTLEMEN AND PLAYERS”. Scientific Journal of Polonia University, 39(2), 34-42. https://doi.org/10.23856/3904
Section
LANGUAGE, CULTURE, COMMUNICATION