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ID 425
Title Transcription
フツリアイナ ケッコン ノ セイタイ : ゲンソウ オ オウ オンナ ノ バアイ : キョウカン ノ ツウロ オ モトメテ
Title Alternative
Modes of Mismating : The Case of An Imaginative Woman : Hankering for 'a Congenial Channel'
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Departmental Bulletin Paper
An Imaginative Woman sets the keynote for the other following stories of Life's Little Ironies, as Kristin Brady points out. The stories, with few exceptions, treat the mismating or mismatching of men and women of the middle and lower classes in undefined time settings, different from, for example, A Group of Noble Dames. The stories are seemingly set in the contemporary times. This feature tends to provide them with a universal aspect. Ella and Marchmill are regarded as a typical couple of the middle class in comfortable conditions. One great problem with them is the difference of disposition between them; Ella is imaginative and poetic, Marchmill realistic and materialistic. She thinks of herself as unhappy, because she does not have 'a congenial channel' with her husband. At a seaside inn she accidentally finds that the room next to theirs is her rival poet's rented one. Imaginative as she is, she stimulates her imagination still more strongly by that coincidence. The locked room rented by the poet, Robert Trewe, symbolizes the pent-up inner life of Ella. She dreams of him and even desires to see him as one who is 'a fuller appreciator' of her. On the other hand Marchmill begins to suspect her of unforgivable relations with the poet and urged by jealousy becomes ironically enough as imaginative as Ella. Ella dies after giving birth to a fourth child by her husband without confessing much of her real relations with the poet. One day before the second marriage Marchmill happens to find the son taking after the poet. Overcome by strong suspicion of her wife he rejects him cold-heartedly, calling him 'little brat', and even saying 'You are nothing to me'. This ending seems to imply the barren and changeable relationship of man and woman, and even of parent and child. This paper deals with Thomas Hardy's short story, An Imaginative Woman, from the viewpoint of the ironical outcome of Ella's hankering for 'a congenial channel'.
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Liberal Arts and Sciences