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Three Cheers for Free Will, Thimbs down on Convention in John Fowles The French Lieutenants Woman
2005 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year))Student thesis
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this essay is to illuminate the functions of the concepts Free Will and Convention in The French Lieutenant’s Woman. By examining the three main characters, Sir Charles Smithson, Sarah Woodruff and Ernestina Freeman and the relationships between them, one is made aware of the impact and subtlety of free will and convention on the development of their lives. In this essay I demonstrate how Fowles reveals his thoughts on free will from three different perspectives: social, existential, and narrative. He develops a social perspective by placing his characters in a Victorian setting, while letting them be analyzed and criticized by a post-modern narrator. The reoccurring themes of fossils and the theory of evolution represent a good part of his existential perspective. By writing in the genre, Metafiction, Fowles asserts his free will by shifting the characters and the reader back and forth between the nineteenth and twentieth century and experimenting with the two final endings. I conclude that Fowles’ message to the reader is that free will constitutes a strategy of survival and a way of enriching one’s life.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. , 27 p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-53910Local ID: ENG D-14OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-53910DiVA: diva2:1102470
Subject / course
English
Available from: 2017-05-29 Created: 2017-05-29

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  • apa
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