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Abstract:Doris Lessing fully expressed her feminist consciousness in the short story-A Woman on a Roof,which reflects her profoundthinking of modern women's living condition.It' s well-known that Thomas Hardy also creates a classical female character (Tess)in hisfamous novel-Tess of the D' Urbervilles.It' s obvious that those two writers both present their own understanding of feminist consciousnessin their works.Therefore,this paper tries to conduct a comparative analysis between these two books on the basis of feminism differences.First,this paper aims to find out feminism differences between those two books from the perspective of characterization of main characters.Then,this paper will analyze such differences and then point out reasons in order to explain these differences.Finally,this paper will drawsome conclusion on this study and put forward some constructive suggestions for further study.

Keywords:feminist consciousness;feminism differences;characterization

中图分类号:H059 文献标识码:A 文章编号:1672-1578(2019)01-0285-01

1.Chapter One Feminism Difference

1.1 Social StatusAccording to the description in the short story,the woman onthe roof belongs to the upper class and is very wealthy.For exam-ple

“She lay face down on a brown blanket.They could see the toppart of her:black hair,a flushed solid back,arms spread out"(Paragraph 2)

It shows that the woman is sunbathing on a sunny roof and sheenjoys such a relaxing lifestyle.However,the beginning part of thestory actually tells that it' s a very hot day now and three workershave to work on such a hard day.It' s ironical that the woman en-joys the hot sun because she be longs to the upper class and doesn'thave to work under the sun.This kind of irony reveals the status ofthis woman and reflects the conflicts between different social clas-ses.

Compared with this woman,Tess is rather poor and her socialstatus is extremely low.

Her father,her mother,everything seems very miserable forher.She has to struggle for life,which is totally from the woman onthe roof.They belong to two different social classes,which deter-mine different personalities.

1.2 Personality

The woman on the roof is very powerful,cool and remote,showing her utter indifference to the three men.Facing three men,she always occupies the dominant situation and possesses a sense ofsuperiority.The novel reflects the woman' s indifferent attitudes to-wards three men and her gestures clearly show her superiority aboveothers.She doesn' t care about others' thoughts and action.

However,as what is mentioned in the above,Tess is ratherdifferent.Her social status determines that she can' t be so powerfuland indifferent.Instead,she is kind,feminine and fragile.She isalways hurt by others and is unable to contend for her fate.

2.Chapter Two Reason for Feminism Difference

2.1 Social Background

Doris Lessing and Thomas Hardy live in different times,so it's obvious that the contents of their works are different,especially inthe reflection of feminism.

Thomas Hardy lives in the Victorian society and the? status ofwomen? in the? Victorian era? is often seen as an illustration ofthe striking discrepancy between the United Kingdom' s nationalpower and wealth.During the era symbolized by the reign of Britishmonarch? Queen Victoria,women did not have suffrage rights,theright to sue,or the right to own property.At the same time,womenparticipated in the paid workforce in increasing numbers followingthe?Industrial Revolution.Feminist ideas spread among the edu-cated female middle classes,discriminatory laws were repealed,andthe women' s suffrage? movement gained momentum in the lastyears of the Victorian Era.

By the Victorian era,the concept of "pater familias" ,meaningthe husband as head of the household and moral leader of his fami-ly,was firmly entrenched in British culture.

While Doris Leasing,she lives in the times when feministmovement is well-developed.During this period,the first-wavefeminism has occurred.The first-wave feminism was a period ofactivity during the 19th century and early twentieth century.In theUK and US,it focused on the promotion of equal contract,mar-riage,parenting,and property rights for women.By the end of the19th century,activism focused primarily on gaining political power,particularly the right of women' s? suffrage,though some feministswere active in campaigning for women's? sexual,? reproductive,and? economic rights? as well.Thus Doris is fully aware of femi-nist consciousness and she inputs her understanding and personalthoughts into her works.

As a result,social background actually has great impact oncharacterization and contents of literary works.

3.Chapter Three Conclusion

Through comparing contents of feminism in A Woman on aRoof and Tess of the D' Urbervilles,readers can find out somedifferences of characterization of female characters from the perspec-tive of social status and personality.The woman on the roof andTess appear different from those aspects.Different social back-ground leads to different understanding of feminism;thus the con-tents of literary works are certain to be different.

On the basis of this comparative study,on the one hand,read-ers get to know women's living condition in different times;on theother hand,readers learn about authors' reflection of feminism,inorder to help further study authors.

Finally,comparison and contrast is also a useful way in re-searching feminism in literature.


[1]Watts,Cedric.2007.? Thomas Hardy:Tess of the d'Urbervilles[J].Humanities-Ebooks:13-14.

[2]Miao,W.W.[缪潍潍],2011,The Interpretation of Le-ssing's the Woman on a Roof from the[3] Perspective ofCharacterization,杭州电子科技大学.




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