Abstract

What happens if we imagine that Hegel's master-slave dialectic occurs between two women? Henry James's The Golden Bowl provides some answers to this question. James's novel portrays an exclusively female master-slave confrontation that is driven by a feminine appropriation of male desire. This appropriation actually mirrors the process in the Phenomenology in which the male domain tries to appropriate the feminine task of alleviating the terror of mortality. However, because this latter process ultimately fails, there is a limit to how much fluidity we can bring to Hegel's gender boundaries. Consequently, The Golden Bowl ends with a reaffirmation of gender divisions.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 233-250
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Open Access
No
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