Family relations within late Victorian/Edwardian bourgeois family represent the core of the vast majority of the novels by Ivy Compton-Burnett. This author managed to put in evidence all the contradictions and the hypocrisy which constituted the inner nature of Victorian and Edwardian family. From this perspective, the main topic approached in this paper will be the relationship between dysfunctional parents, especially mothers, and their daughters in a small yet representative corpus of works by Ivy Compton-Burnett including some of her most prominent novels: Brothers and Sisters (1929), A House and its Head (1935) and Parents and Children (1941). As has been argued, in several works by Burnett, great importance is given to the figure of the governess who usually tends to act as a replacement for an absent or not loving mother. Furthermore, in Parents and Children, the figure of the eldest daughter who acts as a mother for her younger siblings and is in competition with her own mother is displayed. As has been pointed out by several scholars, the distance between mothers and daughters represents one of the pivotal issues of Victorian educational system and, generally speaking, the role of the mother is of crucial importance for the development of the subject formation of daughters. This leads us to the aim of this paper, which is the analysis, both from a literal a psychoanalytic and pedagogical standpoint, with particular reference to feminist critical pedagogy, of the role of the mother and of family relations on the personal developments of daughters during the Victorian age through the lens of Ivy Compton-Burnett’s novels. To this purpose, we will associate the close reading of the texts giving also great importance to the style, a crucial feature in Compton-Burnett’s works, supported by gender-oriented literary criticism and a pedagogical perspective.

Mothers, Fathers the Formation of Daughters in Ivy Compton-Burnett: A Literary and Pedagogic Analysis

Francesca Marone
;
POZZUOLI, CESARE
2019

Abstract

Family relations within late Victorian/Edwardian bourgeois family represent the core of the vast majority of the novels by Ivy Compton-Burnett. This author managed to put in evidence all the contradictions and the hypocrisy which constituted the inner nature of Victorian and Edwardian family. From this perspective, the main topic approached in this paper will be the relationship between dysfunctional parents, especially mothers, and their daughters in a small yet representative corpus of works by Ivy Compton-Burnett including some of her most prominent novels: Brothers and Sisters (1929), A House and its Head (1935) and Parents and Children (1941). As has been argued, in several works by Burnett, great importance is given to the figure of the governess who usually tends to act as a replacement for an absent or not loving mother. Furthermore, in Parents and Children, the figure of the eldest daughter who acts as a mother for her younger siblings and is in competition with her own mother is displayed. As has been pointed out by several scholars, the distance between mothers and daughters represents one of the pivotal issues of Victorian educational system and, generally speaking, the role of the mother is of crucial importance for the development of the subject formation of daughters. This leads us to the aim of this paper, which is the analysis, both from a literal a psychoanalytic and pedagogical standpoint, with particular reference to feminist critical pedagogy, of the role of the mother and of family relations on the personal developments of daughters during the Victorian age through the lens of Ivy Compton-Burnett’s novels. To this purpose, we will associate the close reading of the texts giving also great importance to the style, a crucial feature in Compton-Burnett’s works, supported by gender-oriented literary criticism and a pedagogical perspective.
978-1-912764-16-7
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11588/774666
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