An Interpretation of Jane Austen’s Emma by Lacan’s Theory of Mirror Stage

Yechun ZHANG

Abstract


Emma is honored as the most mature work by Jane Austen. It centers on Emma Woodhouse, the heroine, and reveals the complicated love relationships among Frank Churchill and Harriet Smith, Mr. Elton and Jane Fairfax, and Mr. Knightley and Harriet Smith. This thesis intends to probe into the inner world of Emma and uncover her intricate feeling of match-making for others to self love seeking from the perspective of Lacan’s Mirror Stage and Three-Order Theory. From the theory, a number of crises among Emma and her father, Miss Taylor, and her other friends arise, which all contribute to her loss of complete ego. The split Emma, like a new-born infant, returns to the front of the mirror and begins to see her split ego in it. The Imaginary is the first realm of Lacan’s three Orders. The illusions from Harriet’s obedience, Frank’s deliberate deceiving, and the subtle relationship between Harriet and Mr. Knightley all lead Emma to irresistible self-seeking. Emma seeks out her ego under the Law in the Symbolic Order. In the constraint of Phallus, Emma eventually realizes her true emotion to Mr. Knightley and abandons the thought of match-making for Harriet. She breaks through the obstacles of herself in the Symbolic at last. After undergoing this self recognition, Emma reaches the Real Order, the last realm of ego seeking. Everything before all helps her sublimation in the Real.


Keywords


Emma; Mirror stage theory; The imaginary; The symbolic; The real; Lacan’s theory of mirror stage

Full Text:

PDF

References


Austen, J. (2006). Emma. Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press.

Barbara, H. (1981). York notes on Emma. London: Longman York Press.

Evans, D. (2001). An introductory dictionary of lacanian psychoanalysis. East Sussex Brunner-Routledge.

Gillie, C. (2004). A preface to Jane Austen. Beijing: Peking University Press.

Hart, J. (1996). Jane Austen’s Emma. Researinch and Education Association.

Hou, Y. H. (2012). A mirror-phase approach to the ballad of the sad café. Ocean University of China.

Ma, R. (2008). The Emma’s self-awareness on Emma. Northwest Normal University.

Pinch, A. (2003). Jane Austen’s Emma. London: Oxford University Press.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/9782

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2017 Yechun Zhang

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Share us to:   


Reminder

  • How to do online submission to another Journal?
  • If you have already registered in Journal A, then how can you submit another article to Journal B? It takes two steps to make it happen:

1. Register yourself in Journal B as an Author

  • Find the journal you want to submit to in CATEGORIES, click on “VIEW JOURNAL”, “Online Submissions”, “GO TO LOGIN” and “Edit My Profile”. Check “Author” on the “Edit Profile” page, then “Save”.

2. Submission

  • Go to “User Home”, and click on “Author” under the name of Journal B. You may start a New Submission by clicking on “CLICK HERE”.
  • We only use three mailboxes as follows to deal with issues about paper acceptance, payment and submission of electronic versions of our journals to databases: caooc@hotmail.com; css@cscanada.net; css@cscanada.org

 Articles published in Canadian Social Science are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY).

 CANADIAN SOCIAL SCIENCE Editorial Office 

Address: 9375 Rue de Roissy Brossard, Québec, J4X 3A1, Canada 
Telephone: 1-514-558 6138 
Website: Http://www.cscanada.net Http://www.cscanada.org 
E-mailcss@cscanada.net, css@cscanada.org

Copyright © Canadian Academy of Oriental and Occidental Culture