Woman as a Wonder as a Monster: on Mathilde The Woman Who Loses A Sex War

Hui-qing LIU


In Stendhal’s The Red and the Black, the second leading female character Mathilde appears a quite “monstrous” young woman yet with fascination. She is neither mystery nor enigma but simply of a psychological sex a “man+woman woman” in my concept, a dilemma typical of Her as Other as an Object meanwhile so self-consciously struggling for subjectivity, for transcendence. Noble, proud, passionate, a little hysteric, obsessed with fantasy. There buried, repressed deep, and, “hidden skilfully” in her is the “120% of ‘masculinity’ in her 120% femininity”. She takes efforts to behave like a woman, yet she seeks to realize her transcendence in the man she loves. Though the man, Julien, shares with her the same wild imagination and ambition, though they both are addicted to dream of heroism, he finally comes to the point of not loving her any more, for he gets tired of heroism. Mathilde loses in the war, for she fights, but fights in order to realize her heroism in love, in her lover, a man.
Key words: psychological sex; sex war; French Feminism; transcendence; rival
Résumé: Dans Le Rouge et le Noir de Stendhal, le deuxième personnage féminin Mathilde semble plutôt une "monstrueuse" jeune femme avec fascination. Dans mon concept, elle n'est ni mystère ni énigme, mais simplement d'un sexe psychologique "homme + femme femme", un dilemme typique d’Elle et d’Autre comme un Objet, et en même temps elle lutte avec une auto-conscience pour la subjectivité et la transcendance. Noble, fière, passionnée, un peu hystérique, obsédée par la fantaisie. Il y est enterrée, refloulée profondément et " dissimulée habilement " en elle une "120% de masculinité dans sa 120% de féminité". Elle prend des efforts pour se comporter comme une femme, mais elle cherche à réaliser sa transcendance à l'homme qu'elle aime. Bien que cet homme, Julien, partage avec elle la même imagination sauvage et l'ambition, et qu’ils soient adonnés au rêve de l'héroïsme, il finit enfin par ne plus l’aimer, car il se fatigue de l'héroïsme. Mathilde perd la guerre. Elle se bat, mais elle se bat pour réaliser son l'héroïsme dans l'amour, chez son amant, un homme.
Mots-Clés: sexe psychologique; la guerre de sexe; le féminisme français; transcendence; rival


psychological sex; sex war; French Feminism; transcendence; rival

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/j.css.1923669720090504.001


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