英米文化
Online ISSN : 2424-2381
Print ISSN : 0917-3536
ISSN-L : 0917-3536
論文
Christina Light’s Irresistible Pressure: Queer Subtext in Roderick Hudson and The Princess Casamassima
川村 真央
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ジャーナル フリー

2022 年 52 巻 p. 39-49

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This study argues that Christina Light’s actions in Henry James’s The Princess Casamassima are motivated by her oppressed queerness to strike out against a patriarchal society whose upper classes she had married into. In previous studies, her marriage with the Prince described in Roderick Hudson is regarded as the transcendence of the boundary between social classes. However, more investigation of her desire to get out of herself clarifies that the issue of social class is intricately entangled with her hidden queerness.

Being forced to repress her queerness on entering the upper class appears to have made her empathetic toward the common people when she reappears in the later novel. Furthermore, she aspires to retain her queerness after her encounter with Lady Aurora. However, James never releases her queerness completely from the confines of patriarchal authority. She manages to act out her sexual affection toward Lady Aurora, but her immanent societal values instill in her a sense of guilt. It might have been inescapable for James to represent her queerness as restricted and obscured in this social context. However, the fact that he exceptionally re-used Christina seems to allude to his complicated sentiment toward her sexuality. He was unable to leave her queerness undescribed while he concealed and repressed it behind the story of revolutionary activities. Thus, Christina is a meaningful character who struggles against imperious and patriarchal values to be true to her queerness.

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