An Analysis of Women's Images in Bellow's Dangling Man from the Perspective of Irigaray's Feminism

Ning Dong, Yang JinSong
Guangdong Medical College
Journal of Beijing International Studies University 2016-1

Abstract:Dangling Man is an early novel by Saul Bellow who is a famous Jewish American novelist. French Feminist Irigaray puts forward the ideas of women's being wrongly represented and women's voice being repressed and helps us better understand the novel. An analysis of women's images in Dangling Man from the perspective of Irigaray's feminism reveals the fact that Joseph's wife Iva and his confidante Kitty are women's images that are wrongly represented. Iva is considered by her husband as his compensation and reflection and Kitty is only considered as a play mate by Joseph. This kind of women images stems from a society with androcentrism and they deepen our understanding of American women's status during World War II. The two kinds of images show that in World War II women enjoyed more freedom but were still controlled by men. The protagonist's mother-in-law Katy and his niece Etta are women's images whose voices were repressed. The views of Joseph's mother-inlaw are neglected by Joseph and her husband and Etta's view is completely neglected by Joseph. This kind of women images illustrate the lack of women's discourse right contributes greatly to man's alienation and rootless state because in that situation men as Joseph refuse to communicate with the opposite sex and accept the outside world. With the shaping of the two kinds of women's images the novel illustrates the truth that correct views of women and respect for women's discourse right is the only way to achieve harmonious relationship between men and women.
Keywords:Dangling Man, Saul Bellow, Irigaray, feminism

Paper type:Published