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    Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://asiair.asia.edu.tw/ir/handle/310904400/79906

    Title: "Community of Collapse": The Ethics of Choice in Henry James's The Wings of the Dove
    Authors: 王俊三;Wang, Chun-San
    Contributors: 外國語文學系
    Keywords: The Wings of the Dove;the ethics of choice;two deaths;fantasy;community;desire and drive
    Date: 2014-01
    Issue Date: 2014-07-03 15:24:25 (UTC+8)
    Abstract: In Henry James’s The Wings of the Dove (1902), Mildred (alias Milly) Theale’s travel to Europe is her ultimate journey into the heart of desire. Under the shadow of impending death, Milly’s desire becomes more intensified and more unbearable,engulfing people around her like Merton Densher and Kate Croy and drastically changing their life’s direction and value system. In representing Milly’s desire, James also explores the nature of desire in general--its metamorphosis, camouflage, metaphorical displacement, and metonymic dispersion--as well as its relations to fantasy and to death. Desire, as reconceptualized by James, is not an inherent force with unchangeable nature but is produced in and through the ethical relationship, a relationship which is, in turn, structured by the system of symbolic exchange best represented, in the novel, by Aunt Maud and Sir Luke Strett. By revealing the real both as excess and as lack within that system, Milly brings to head-on confrontation the contradictory subjective attributes, impulses, and positions, and edges the community based it close to collapse. At the final stage of her life, having traversed the fantasy about life and gone through subjective destitution, and yet having not gathered strength enough to die, Milly is caught in between two deaths, that is, the symbolic death and the death in the real. Just as the beauty of Antigone is, according to Lacan, the beauty of the image of Antigone being buried alive, so the beauty of The Wings of the Dove is the beauty of the image of Milly facing the wall and waiting for her real death heroically and without shrieking.
    Relation: Intergrams: Studies in Languages and Literatures
    Appears in Collections:[外國語文學系] 期刊論文

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