On the Circular Structure in Bowen’s The Death of the Heart
International Journal of Literature and Arts
Volume 7, Issue 5, September 2019, Pages: 118-125
Received: Aug. 16, 2019; Accepted: Sep. 19, 2019; Published: Oct. 9, 2019
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Guifen Jiang, Department of English, East China Jiaotong University, Nanchang, China
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Elizabeth Bowen was one of the few truly accomplished Irish women novelists and one of the most distinguished writers of her time during which she was born and lived with the Anglo-Irish naïve dignity and tragedy with the class declining and becoming insignificant. Through the reading of her representative “coming-of age” novel The Death of the Heart produced in the interwar period, the readers can perceive the influence of Bowen’s childhood experiences on her creation and her major Anglo-Irish religious and philosophical views of life. The purpose of this article is to focus on its circular structure that parallels the structure of the myth of the Fall, in which the heroine Portia is portraited as a Christlike figure who develops from an innocent and ignorant girl belonging to nowhere to an integrated and conscious individual after experiencing betrayal and the death of the heart’s innocence. By means of an ingenious manipulation of its circular structure and the portrayal of the Christlike figure Portia, Elizabeth Bowen demonstrates her lifetime of continual “shuttling between England and Ireland”, witnessing alternative conflict and compromise between England and Ireland, and her Anglo-Irish religious outlook of predeterminism: let it be and accept it as it is.
Circular Structure, Portia, The World, The Flesh, The Devil, Anglo-Irish
To cite this article
Guifen Jiang, On the Circular Structure in Bowen’s The Death of the Heart, International Journal of Literature and Arts. Vol. 7, No. 5, 2019, pp. 118-125. doi: 10.11648/j.ijla.20190705.15
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