AbstractsLanguage, Literature & Linguistics

Engendered Conversations: Gender Subversion Through Fictional Dialogue in Lawrence, Hemingway and Forster

by Allison Snelgrove

Institution: Université de Montréal
Year: 2015
Keywords: D.H. Lawrence; Ernest Hemingway; E.M. Forster; Virginia Woolf; Radclyffe Hall; Elsa von Freytag Loringhoven; Modernism (Literature); Dialogue in literature; Sociolinguistics; Judith Halberstam-Female masculinity; Dialogue littéraire; Modernisme (Littérature); Sociolinguistique
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2134307
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1866/12176


This dissertation examines gendered fictional dialogue in popular works by D.H. Lawrence, Ernest Hemingway and E.M. Forster, including Howards End (1910), The Sun Also Rises (1926) and Lady Chatterley’s Lover (1928). I apply Judith Halberstam’s notion of female masculinity to direct speech, to explore how speech traits inform modernist literary aesthetics. My introduction frames this discussion in sociolinguistics, Judith Butler’s theory of performativity, M.M. Bakhtin’s discourse theory, and gender studies. It provides an opportunity to establish experimental dialogue techniques, and the manipulation of gendered talk, in transgressive texts including James Joyce’s Ulysses (1922), Virginia Woolf’s Orlando (1928) and Radcyffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness (1928). The first chapter discusses taboos and dialect in D.H. Lawrence’s fictional dialogue. The second chapter establishes gender subversion as a crucial element in Ernest Hemingway’s dialogue style. The third chapter contrasts Forster’s latently gendered speech with his techniques of dialect emphasis and dialect suppression. Finally, my conclusion discusses gender identity in the poetry of Dorothy Parker and Baroness Elsa von Freytag Loringhoven, and the temporality of gender in “Time Passes” from Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse (1927). New Woman characters like Lady Brett Ashley typified a crucial moment in women’s liberation. They not only subverted stereotypes of womanhood through their dress or sexual freedom, they also adopted/adapted masculine idiom to shock, to rebel against and challenge male dominance. Different speech acts incited fashionable slang, became a political protest symbol or inspired psychoanalytic theory. The intriguing functions of women’s masculine speech in early twentieth century fiction establishes the need to examine additional connections between gender and talk in literary studies. Advisors/Committee Members: Eberle-Sinatra, Michael (advisor).