Use Of The Supernatural Elements In Thomas Hardy's The Well Beloved

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It is my purpose in this extract to make a probe in to the various aspects, nature and character of supernatural element in Thomas Hardy’s Novel ‘The Well Beloved.’ It is my objective in this attempt to have a psycho-analytical study of the mind, emotions and feelings which are portrayed in the Supernatural element in the Novel. The different factors that made the lady in the Novel an inaccessible ghost are to be perused in detail. In addition to these I have made all my effort to the pros and cons of the different stages of the novelist that led him to apply the metempsychosis to compensate the unfulfilled dream of possessing the Well Beloved whom he is making a probe almost all throughout his life in the novel. The mind set up of the novelist…show more content…
Hardy was intrigued by the geography, geology and history of Portland and regarded it as the perfect retreat for artists and poets in search of inspiration (preface p.3) The Isle of Slingers with its haunted atmosphere of Roman Venus about and around the site of her perished temple there is a sort of Wessex Cyprus for the sculptor Jocelyn Pierceton who bears more than a passing resemblance to the figure of Pygmalion from Ovid’s metamorphoses. Repelled by the female inhabitants of Cyprus whom Venus has transformed in to prostitutes for daring to challenge her divinity, Pygmalion carves a lifelike ivory statue of a beautiful woman lovelier than woman born with which he falls in love. Moved by frustrated desire he prays to Venus to send him a wife just like his ivory girl. Venus answers his prayer by bringing the statue to life, Pygmalion marries her and she bears him a child,…show more content…
As M.H. Abram’s explains, the doctrine of Platonism states that all beauty in the material world, including the aesthetic object or work of art, is an emanation from an absolute or ideal form of beauty from which the human soul is permanently exiled. The Platonic lover is drawn by the physical beauty of the beloved person but recognises that this is merely the outer manifestation of the deeper spiritual beauty that radiates out from the divine ideal which should for the true object of reverence and desire. (M.H.Abrams p.157) ‘Pygmalion’ is a myth of transformation, a representation of the seamless metamorphosis of the ideal in to material form. In this respect it is an inspiration for all artists and for lovers driven by the desire to achieve this impossible consumption. One of the main problems with the myth, however, is its definitive gendering of the relationship between artist and muse and artist and artwork, male subject and female object. As an archetype it reinforces and naturalises the unequal distribution of power implicit in the gender relations of the second half of the nineteenth century -a period that witnessed the rise of the feminist movement and in particular the campaign for women’s

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