THE QUESTION OF CHARACTERISATION IN IRIS MURDOCH?S UNDER THE NET

Abstract

Author(s): Bar?? METE

The British novelist and philosopher Jean Iris Murdoch (1919-1999) frequently pronounced her engagement, as an artist, with the great tradition of English prose writing essentially characterised by its traditionalism. Comparable to this, Murdoch called herself a traditionalist who, in her fictional narratives, attempted to depict conventional illustrations of character descriptions. Notwithstanding her enunciations, Murdoch, in her first published novel Under the Net (1954), formulated a non-traditional protagonist whose characterisation hardly conforms to the criterion for conventional character formations. Particularly measured against Aristotle’s – and those of the other theorists as well – configurations, Murdoch’s protagonist is not a character portrayed precisely through conventional conceptions. This is due to the fact that Murdoch details a protagonist whose characterisation is dramatically limited by his unending misreadings of the situations, which at the same time decisively illustrates him as a character who has undeniably been trapped under a net of misconceptions and misjudgements.

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