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The Caterpillar Transforming into a Butterfly: The Images of Women in Strindberg's Zones of the Spirit
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Language and Literature.
2012 (English)In: Forum for World Literature Studies, ISSN 1949-8519, E-ISSN 2154-6711, ISSN 2154-6711, Vol. 4, no 2, 227-234 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

I'm investigating Strindberg's images of women in his work Zones of the Spirit ("En blå bok"). I have found that Strindberg's judgement of women's character to be associated with a concept of transformation. Strindberg's thoughts about the transformation process are connected to transmutation in alchemy, i. e. how matter is transmutated through different stages of purification into perfect gold. It is also connected to Christian notions of conversion, made manifest in the description of the stages of the meditation process, i. e. when the alchemist's material is in lack of form, light and purity. The woman is compared to formless matter, which needs to be transformed by the potent power of the male to achieve meaningful life. The elements of water and earth are said to be her medium and when Strindberg is contemplating whether she will ever turn into a an immortal soul he relates to the process of the caterpillar evolving into the beautiful butterfly. To Strindberg, the most comforting of the answers to his questions about female character is that she is a medium of man's reconciliation with God.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Shanghai, 2012. Vol. 4, no 2, 227-234 p.
Keyword [en]
Zones of the Spirit, Strindberg, images of women, transformation, alchemy
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
Humanities, Comparative literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-52843OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-52843DiVA: diva2:932144
Available from: 2016-05-31 Created: 2016-05-31 Last updated: 2016-06-01Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf