Academic Paper

Absent Boundaries of Regulation: the Household, the Landscape and the Domestic Novel

Author: Angela Kyriacou Petrou (University of Nicosia)

  • Absent Boundaries of Regulation: the Household, the Landscape and the Domestic Novel

    Academic Paper

    Absent Boundaries of Regulation: the Household, the Landscape and the Domestic Novel

    Author:

Abstract

The paper examines the process of naturalising the “country” as a practice of domestication, regulation and ultimately a consolidation of both domestic and colonial authority. It does so with a specific reference to Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park (1814). Focusing on domestic order, it foregrounds the premise on which peripheral locations and isolated spaces of the domestic realm, far removed from the centres of power, became intangible strongholds of putatively political power. The absent spatial boundaries of the household and the landscape are explored as operative components in the creation of domestic and national order. Focusing on matters of spatiality examined in the domestic novel, the paper delves into the imperceptible mechanisms of erasure which are indiscernibly entangled with the normalisation of the body, the domestic realm and consequentially the remote and unfamiliar bodies and territories of outlying colonial regions. The paper further investigates the different ways in which absent boundaries facilitate the endorsement of hegemonic power, exploring how the borders of both space and individual consciousness are permeated through invisible mechanisms of regulation. The ensuing permeation of power is explored as a process of dematerialisation of both the female body and the material constituents of space. Emptied of intuition, the individual domestic woman forgoes the constraints of her material self and acts instead as a public body. Similarly, the landscape exchanges its material substance for an idealised scene, emphasising extended views. Acting as a fixed, unchangeable spatial backdrop, the unpopulated and timeless landscape is denied practices of human labour, naturalising and consequently appropriating the actions of domestic life as a centre of authority.

Keywords: Colonialism Domestic Patriarchy Normalisation Austen

How to Cite:

Kyriacou Petrou, A., (2023) “Absent Boundaries of Regulation: the Household, the Landscape and the Domestic Novel”, field 9(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.62471/field.123

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Published on
06 Dec 2023
Peer Reviewed