DIALOGUE AND CONSTRUCTION OF WOMAN IN JOHN FOWLES’S A MAGGOT

  • Turki S. Althubaiti Dept. of Foreign Languages, Faculty of Arts, Taif University, Saudi Arabia

Abstract

This article explores how John Fowles, in his last published novel A Maggot (1985), has depicted the figure of woman in a strong dialogical position, as a matriarch leading the entire dialogical narrative of the novel. For Fowles, the woman has metamorphosed from being a fallen and problematic woman into a successful and sacred historical mother of Ann Lee, the founder of the Shakers. Indeed through the dialogical confrontations of the Shaker woman, Rebecca Lee, with her multi-faceted challenges of the lawyer Henry Ayscough, the patriarch, who has constantly constructed her as a fallen woman, Fowles deployed a very problematic construction for women, thereby challenging all the traditional discourses of female forbidden behaviour and quizzing the decidedly patriarchal perception of women within the seventeenth-century English culture (the novel is a late twentieth-century text about the seventeenth century) in terms of sexuality, education, and the corruption of law system, and also to reconstruct the Shakers’ weird idea of redemption. This article focuses on the question of how Fowles sees the woman; how she should be perceived: the fallen figure and the female sexuality is a masculine construct within a patriarchal society, whereas in reality and for the Shakers, she is an immutable sacred matriarch. For Fowles, this “divine matriarch” is Rebecca Lee (aliases Fanny, Louise), the former Quaker woman forced by circumstances into prostitution. She was the poor woman hired by Mr. Bartholomew to accompany him on his journey, and she was the only living witness of the mysterious events in the cave, and the one who went on to become the fictional mother of the historical Ann Lee, the founder of the Shakers. Indeed A Maggot attempts to resolve such ambiguities and paradoxes of the role of woman within the cultural and ideological limitations of her society.

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Published
2014-12-30
How to Cite
Althubaiti, T. S. (2014). DIALOGUE AND CONSTRUCTION OF WOMAN IN JOHN FOWLES’S A MAGGOT. European Scientific Journal, ESJ, 10(35). Retrieved from https://eujournal.org/index.php/esj/article/view/4878