|Alternative Title||The Pilgrimage to the Good-- An Ethical Interpretation of Iris Murdoch's Two Novels
|Place of Conferral||兰州
Literature and ethics are never far apart, as in the novels by Iris Murdoch. The thesis attempts to analyze her moral philosophy with a close reading of her two novels, A Severed Head and The Black Prince, so as to offer an ethical approach to the interpretation of these two novels, which have the idea of “the Good” as the leading concern. The ethical criticism in literature is employed to interpret Murdoch’s ethical concern in these two novels. Plato’s notion of the Good and his Allegory of Cave are also referred to in this study.
The present thesis examines the strenuous efforts made by the protagonists of A Severed Head and The Black Prince in the process of searching for self-discovery, based on ethical perspectives of “attention”, “unself”, and “the Good”. The protagonists first suffer the setback and failure resulting from their self-centeredness; then by realizing this, the protagonists give up self-attention and learn to focus on others or the world. They remove Self from their own consciousness which becomes a kind of void and then love enters it and leads humans to achieve the ultimate Good.
Based on the above analysis, a conclusion is drawn that A Severed Head and The Black Prince give a thorough exhibition of self-fulfillment of the human being in modern society. And ethical criticism provides a new perspective to understand these two novels. The Good is a result of Murdoch’s ultimate pursuit as well as the eternal motif in her literary creation. Only by shifting readers’ attention from self-centeredness to otherness can readers truly achieve the Good to get self-perfection in the contingent world.
Keywords: Iris Murdoch; A Severed Head; The Black Prince; Ethical Criticism; Unself; Attention; the Good|
陈攀. 追寻善的心路历程--对爱丽斯 默多克两部小说的伦理学解读[D]. 兰州. 兰州大学,2010.
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