The woman in white essay

It has entirely answered my expectations. Receive these fervid lines—my last legacy to the country I leave for ever. They are worthy of the occasion. Eventually he resorts—in vain—to opium, in the hope that it will enable him to sleep and bring him some measure of tranquility While this is a style that Collins himself eschews, clearly he does not hesitate to make use of the characteristically Victorian sentimentality favored by his reading audience—an excess, perhaps, of another sort.

A full discussion of the Lacanian poetics of representation in this novel is, however, beyond the scope of the present essay and will be left for future detailed study. Jacques-Alain Miller, trans.

The Woman in White Book Review

Of related, though tangential, interest, the female textual counterpart to the excesses encoded and satirized in Count Fosco is Marian Halcombe. Though she is the half-sister of the lovely and delicate Laura, Marian is ugly, with masculine facial features that create an intentional dissonance or representational rupture between her feminine figure, her voluptuous shape, and the nearly simian features of her darkly complected face, with its low forehead and heavy eyebrows The text is thus shaped by parallel themes of loss—disappointed love for a woman and disappointed love, as it were, for the homeland.

My name is on the list of those proscribed. Ah, how often in despair of vengeance I feel like plunging a knife into my heart to pour out all my blood amid the last shrieks of my homeland! If, on the other hand, he were to ally himself with Ortis by marriage, he would hasten his own ruin and that of his family.

Besides which, he had given his word. The motif of marriage for money is reinforced at several junctures in the novel, since Teresa is not the only character—though she is clearly the main figure—to be traded away by her family in order to secure a stable financial future. Her beauty and her health are fading. Her heart is being consumed in silence, and for you.


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Sacrifice your passion to her tranquility. Leaving the family estate with a heavy heart, Jacopo heroically decides not to upset his beloved further by showing her a manuscript that could only make her wonder whether or not she, too, will meet a tragic and untimely end because she cannot marry the man she loves. The thematic connections between the two women remain clear and constant throughout the novel, despite the fact that Teresa does not become mad or die, as does her ill-fated symbolic double, Lauretta.

Foscolo clearly delineates the symbolic link between the two women through the use of striking iconographic similarities, since both appear consistently in white whenever their clothing is mentioned in the text and both women have blond hair. Like Teresa, Lauretta is blond 47 and appears dressed only in white 48 , but unlike Teresa, she is actually driven mad by the loss of her lover.

A further iconographic similarity between Lauretta and Teresa, pointing to their relationship as symbolic doubles, is that both wear violets on their breast. Thus, to reiterate, the similarities in the representational codes used to depict Teresa and Lauretta, as well as the association of both women with disappointed love and the possibility or actuality of related madness, suggest they are essentially flip sides of the same coin.

Essay on The Woman In White, by Wilkie Collins -- English Literature

To put it differently, the two women serve as paradigms for Laura Fairlie and Anne Catherick. Thus the motif of female insanity; the representational or iconographic codes, which include white clothing and fair hair; and the similarity of names—Laura and Lauretta—appear to have been appropriated, unconsciously or perhaps otherwise, by Collins, pointing to the intriguing possibility of a subliminal textual influence.

Both women are limned with the same—or essentially similar—iconography throughout the novel, namely light brown hair that is nearly blond, and both are habitually dressed in white clothing. In contrast, the main villain of the piece has been consigned to eternal anonymity in a Parisian morgue.

Of further, related interest, the incarceration of Laura in an insane asylum becomes symbolic of the incarceration or enclosure of women in marriage as a result of patriarchal paradigms and concepts of their place in society. This is echoed and paralleled by the theme of incarceration in institutions for the mentally ill, which, in the case of Laura, is the direct result of her marriage to Sir Percival Glyde. Although Laura ultimately escapes the asylum and Sir Percival Glyde, finally entering a marriage of choice, her escape and union with Walter are offset by the clear fact of her mental deterioration after imprisonment in the asylum which had also confined her shadowy double, Anne Catherick.

As for Marian, she escapes matrimony, we may surmise, because she has no fortune, has unattractive facial features that would prevent her from being the object of male desire, and—if some critics are to be believed—has a homoerotic attachment to Laura that would mitigate any wish, on her part, to be married. Baker, William and William A. The Letters of Wilkie Collins. Before every away game, groupies mill around the hotel lobby as the team checks in. After one such encounter, a puzzled and guilty-feeling Jojo asks a groupie why she and her sisters do it.

Her answer? Any girl…. And every girl. Wolfe asked his two then-college-aged children to review his manuscript for accuracy. He reports getting high marks with one exception: his daughter insisted that no girl would ever say any such thing. No girl would ever say it, or perhaps even consciously think it. But that urge is the subconscious motivator. Everybody knew what they meant.

Any girl and every girl may feel the impulse, the same way almost any man will neurologically respond to the sight of a beautiful young woman. To say nothing of all the attendant medical and psychological risks. She wanted to want to kiss Adam goodnight in a deeply committed way.

Adam had an interesting mind, an exciting mind, an adventurous mind…. He was sweet and he really was smart…. That would solve so many problems! She could live the life of the mind and the life of romance in one and the same person! All things that really counted would come together! If she did, she was convinced, love would drive all the cheap, smug standards of Cool out of her mind.

His supplication culminates in his playing nurse during her depression, cuddling her night after night—with their clothes on—without getting so much as a kiss on the cheek. Against this pathetic show of non-virility, the allure of cool proves far stronger than the appeal of the mind. The first time Charlotte meets Hoyt, before he even knows her name, he tries to maneuver her into a one-night stand.

Indeed, when Adam plunges into his own depression and begs her to mother him the same way he had babied her, she does so—briefly, grudgingly, irritably, out of a sense of obligation and nothing else. Ah, Hoyt.

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If only you would come take one last look at what you so cavalierly discarded, at what you once loved—and love her you did —I know it! Perhaps Charlotte—like Helene with Porfirio Rubirosa—will never get over Hoyt, notwithstanding her superstar, super-alpha boyfriend.

But then, by the end, Jojo too is sucking up to her. She had greatly impressed this man and was given the extraordinary opportunity—especially for a freshman—to work as his research assistant. That chance has been squandered—along with the extraordinary potential that lifted Charlotte to Dupont in the first place. None of her exes cheats on her or mistreats her in any way. She simply becomes dissatisfied, sees a chance to do better, and goes for it. When the curtain rises, Magdalena is partnered to nice-guy cop Nestor Camacho. Nestor has many things going for him, including an enormous upper body built by repeatedly climbing a foot rope without using his legs.

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The Woman Warrior

But he loses Magdalena by forgetting how he won her:. By the time we readers first see them together, muscle-bound Nestor is all lovey-dovey mush. Magdalena is repulsed. So she dumps him for Dr. Norman is much older than Nestor and a decidedly inferior physical specimen. Norman Lewis is your boyfriend!

Admit it! You want them to know you possess that gorgeous blond, blue-eyed americano , that glamorous, famous Older Man! But the lure of muscles, money, and a foreign accent…. When allure gives way to danger, the primal instinct to seek protection resurges and the formerly unexciting suddenly appears in a different light.

But they are real women—with real strengths, desires, and failings.

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Tom Wolfe lifts the lid off their ids to reveal that what motivates them is consistent and comprehensible—and quite different from what drives men. A student, fellow faculty member, or administrator is going to charge you with offending him. For 30 years in my introduct How would someone go about writing 88 books of serious history in a life of 78 years?

Take out the 21 years or so that are necessary to grow up and get going. Andover, Mass.

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Addison Gallery of American Art. John Herron Art Institute. Bliss," January , no. Art Institute of Chicago. Bliss Collection," May 14—September 12, , no. City Art Museum of Saint Louis. Carnegie Institute. Northampton, Mass. Smith College Museum of Art. Museum of Modern Art. Studio House, Washington, D. Society of Arts and Crafts, Detroit. Dallas Museum of Fine Arts.


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