Uniting Form with Contingency: Female Characters’ Self-Liberation in Iris Murdoch’s Novel

Ming-Ying Xu


This paper discusses the growth of female self-consciousness fulfilled by women’s attempt to unite form and
contingency in their life and the liberation for androcentric fantasy by scrutinizing Murdoch’s novel A Fairly
Honourable Defeat and her philosophical texts. Murdoch applies her philosophical concepts of form and
contingency to the characterization of female figures and attempts to combine the fixed form of the world with
the uncertainty of life. The paper reveals that the vacillation in women’s opinion between form and contingency
proves their speculation quality, which is essential for the growth of self-consciousness and demonstrates the
growth of female self-consciousness along with rethinking their life and reevaluating themselves with full
self-consciousness in this novel.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/ells.v4n3p9

English Language and Literature Studies   ISSN 1925-4768 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4776 (Online)

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