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
Views 139      Downloads 45
Guifen Jiang, Department of English, East China Jiaotong University, Nanchang, China
Article Tools
Follow on us
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
Copyright © 2019 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Bowen, Elizabeth. The Death of the Heart. New York: Anchor Books, 2000.
Blodgett, Harriet. Patterns of Reality: Elizabeth Bowen’s Novels. Paris: Mouton, 1975.
Bronfenbrenner, Urie. “Freudian Theories of Identification and Their Derivatives.” Child Development, vol. 31, no. 1, 1960, pp. 15–40. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/1126378.
Bixby, Patrick. 'Irish Cosmopolitanism: Location and Dislocation in James Joyce, Elizabeth Bowen, and Samuel Beckett by Nels Pearson', Twentieth Century Literature, vol. 63/no. 2, (2017), pp. 220-227.
Fahlbusch, Erwin. The Encyclopedia of Christianity, Volume 4, Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2005.
Gornick, Vivian. 'Elizabeth Bowen in Love', Raritan: A Quarterly Review, vol. 37/no. 2, (2017), pp. 109-156.
Hollis, D. W. The History of Ireland. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2001
. Ingman, H., Ó Gallchoir, C. A History of Modern Irish Women's Literature. Cambridge, United Kingdom; New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2018.
Kenney, E. J. Elizabeth Bowen. London: Associated University Presses, 1975.
Kuiper, Kathleen. The Death of the Heart, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. 22 Feb. 2018, www.britannica.com/topic/The-Death-of-the-Heart. Accessed 4 Ju. 2019.
Kellman, Steven G. ‘The Death of the Heart-Summary’ Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition Ed. eNotes.com, Inc. 2009, www.enotes.com/topics/death-heart#summary-summary-summary-the-work. Accessed 4 Jul. 2019
Lassner, P. Women Writers: Elizabeth Bowen. London: MacMillan Education ltd, 1990.
McDowell, Frederick P. W. ‘Elizabeth Bowen’s The Little Girls’, Critique, VII, (Spring, 1964), 139-143.
McKewan, Jaclyn. “Predeterminism”. In H. James Birx" (ed.). Encyclopedia of Time: Science, Philosophy, Theology, & Culture, 2009. SAGE Publications, Inc. pp. 1035–1036.
Teekell, Anna. 'The Orphan Decade: Elizabeth Bowen’s 1930s Novels', Études Irlandaises, no. 42-2, (2017), pp. 139-151.
Van Duyn, M. ‘Pattern and Pilgrimage: A Reading of The Death of the Heart’, Critique, IV (Spring-Summer, 1961), 52-56.
Wang, Yena. 'The Landscape Representation of the Anglo-Irish Cultural Estrangements in Bowen's the Last September', Theory and Practice in Language Studies, vol. 8/no. 8, (2018), pp. 1029-1034.
Science Publishing Group
1 Rockefeller Plaza,
10th and 11th Floors,
New York, NY 10020
Tel: (001)347-983-5186