Honesty admits discourse : lying in the fiction of Elizabeth Gaskell

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Dorothy Heissenbuttel McGavran (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Mary Ellis Gibson

Abstract: Variously deemed a motif, an image or a puzzling preoccupation, lying links all of Elizabeth Gaskell's works, and its political implications are far more important than critics have recognized. Lying, this dissertation argues, is the key that opens up Gaskell's values, purposes, and methods, including her own linguistic shifts and suppressions. Moreover, twentieth-century theorists of discourse and power such as Foucault and Bakhtin have helped locate lying as one of the linguistic tools for expressing and dealing with cultural change. For Gaskell, lying does not represent a turning away from truth but an expansion of the grounds for truth. Examination of the lies in her six major novels and many of her shorter works confirms that Gaskell was interrogating current assumptions of truth by encouraging inspection of motives and reinterpretation of values.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1994
Gaskell, Elizabeth Cleghorn, $d 1810-1865 $x Criticism and interpretation
Truthfulness and falsehood in literature

Email this document to