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研究生(外文):Meng-Hsun Tsai
論文名稱(外文):Conflict and Compromise: The Religious, Moral and Historical Dilemmas Represented in Matthew G. Lewis’ Novel The Monk
指導教授(外文):Min-Tser Lin
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  最後,從小說的出版跟當時讀者的反應來看,不難發現,類似的衝突也發生在作者身上。路易士面臨了如何在個人寫作的理念,創作的堅持,跟社會期待與責任上來做妥協。雖然他最後做出了讓步,把一些政府或批評家認為不道德或褻瀆的章節刪去;不過也有人指出,這些動作只不過是表面的妥協或敷衍的動作,因為路易士一直都以寫了這本小說為傲,且也很享受被稱呼為“Monk Lewis”, 這外號當然來自於他的得意之作《僧侶》。

  Matthew Lewis’s The Monk focuses on the process of Ambrosio’s moral and sexual fall from a holy saint of Madrid to an outrageous criminal. Among the causes of his rapid corruption, the conflict between the continent life of religion and human instinctual sexual desire is the main one. Because of the seclusion from the world outside the monastery and the Catholic idolatry, in Ambrosio’s world, there is only one type of femininity which he regards as true and acceptable, that is, the ideal type of the sacred Virgin Mary. Hence, the Virgin Mary naturally becomes the archetype or the object of his desire. It is this sexualizaion of the sacred as well as the idealization of femininity that causes Ambrosio’s final perdition.
  Taking Ambrosio as an example, Lewis actually means to advocate a moderatism philosophy. The repression of desire imposed by oppressive institutions on individuals is as destructive as the unbridled release of excessive passion. In this sense, the French Revolution, which happened also in the boom times of Gothic novels at the end of eighteenth century, was usually associated with the main concern of the contemporary Gothic writing. Therefore, revolutionary forces against clericalism and corrupt social institutions and systems as well as their consequent excess and violence are often allegorized through the Gothic novels.
  Moreover, through the representation of female sexuality in The Monk, Lewis also puts emphasis on the value of tradition and thinks it necessary to compromise individual pursuit for happiness with social and moral regulations. Indeed, it’s the social order and hierarchy that Lewis supports but they are the order and hierarchy with some reformation and modification after the negotiation with rebellious forces and individual struggles.
  At last, in terms of the publication of The Monk and its reception, we can also see the conflict between the writer’s individual freedom and public moral concerns. Under a strict censorship, Lewis was demanded by the government to expurgate some “immoral” passages in case it should pollute the reader’s mind. As a result, not only Lewis’s characters in the book but also himself had to face the dilemma how to reconcile personal desires with social expectations or whether to recklessly pursue the self integrity even at the expense of moral values and conventions. He reconciled eventually and had the following editions published with the expurgation of the immoral paragraphs. However, some critics point out that the action is just a cynical gesture or compromise while Lewis in fact quite enjoyed being called Monk Lewis, which, of course, is in association with its putative obscene book, The Monk.

Table of Contents
Chapter One
Chapter Two
“Sublimation” and Sexualization in Religion--------------------------------11
Chapter Three
Sexual Morality under Social Hierarchy and Patriarchy------------------------38
Chapter Four
The Historical and Gothic Revolution-----------------------------------------67
Chapter Five
Works Cited------------------------------------------------------------------95

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