Despite that fact that "Beauchamp’s Career" was called a “philosophical-political novel” by Meredith himself, its plot is characteristically developed through the “Meredithian” method that juxtaposes men and women in order to show female intellectual and moral superiority. This article discusses the way in which the main protagonist, Nevil Beauchamp, is characterized in terms of a “hero” as required by the Victorian imagery throughout the novel. However, he fails to be heroic in both his life and death. Nevil’s relationships with the women he encounters (Cecilia, Renée and Jenny) always fail because he is not able “to read” women and female potentialities. In brief, Nevil is unable to change his private life, and neither is he able to change society. As can be observed through a detailed analysis of the text and its narrative strategies, failure in politics and failure in love affairs reflect a growing crisis in patriarchal society in an age of profound transformation in gender roles and (inter)relations. "Beauchamp’s Career" appears then as the first of a series of novels in which Meredith dramatizes the origins of the decline and fall of the Victorian values, while simultaneously positing a new social order in which women are requested to play a more important part.

"Bildung, Failure and Women in "Beauchamp's Career""

SOCCIO, Anna Enrichetta
2008-01-01

Abstract

Despite that fact that "Beauchamp’s Career" was called a “philosophical-political novel” by Meredith himself, its plot is characteristically developed through the “Meredithian” method that juxtaposes men and women in order to show female intellectual and moral superiority. This article discusses the way in which the main protagonist, Nevil Beauchamp, is characterized in terms of a “hero” as required by the Victorian imagery throughout the novel. However, he fails to be heroic in both his life and death. Nevil’s relationships with the women he encounters (Cecilia, Renée and Jenny) always fail because he is not able “to read” women and female potentialities. In brief, Nevil is unable to change his private life, and neither is he able to change society. As can be observed through a detailed analysis of the text and its narrative strategies, failure in politics and failure in love affairs reflect a growing crisis in patriarchal society in an age of profound transformation in gender roles and (inter)relations. "Beauchamp’s Career" appears then as the first of a series of novels in which Meredith dramatizes the origins of the decline and fall of the Victorian values, while simultaneously positing a new social order in which women are requested to play a more important part.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11564/135362
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