2024 : 5 : 19
Mohammad Ghaffary

Mohammad Ghaffary

Academic rank: Assistant Professor
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4012-0093
Education: PhD.
ScopusId: 55573741900
Faculty: Literature and Languages
Address: Arak University


An Ecocritical Study of the Representation of Nature in Iris Murdoch’s The Sea, the Sea
Iris Murdoch’s The Sea, the Sea, nature, ecocriticism, ecofeminism, econarratology, narrative discourse, environment
Researchers Laya Shirmohamadi(Student)، Mohammad Ghaffary(PrimaryAdvisor)


Nature has been one of the key concepts in Western literature, especially in the twentieth century after the changes and environmental crises the world has undergone. In literary studies, the question of nature and the binary opposition of nature / human or nature / culture have been addressed by the critical movement called “ecocriticism. One of the twentieth-century English novelists whose works deal with the problem of nature is Iris Murdoch. The Sea, the Sea (1978) is one of her novels in which nature plays a significant part and raises intriguing questions. The purpose of the study was to examine the representation of nature in the novel’s narrative discourse and analyze how nature affects the major characters and how the major characters affect nature. The study was a qualitative library research, based on content analysis and adopting ecocriticism (and its sub-branches ecofeminism and econarratology) as the theoretical framework. After analyzing the novel, it was concluded that nature, specifically the sea, plays an active role in the novel and the overall image of nature conveyed through its narrative discourse is positive. Toward the novel’s end, the dualism of nature / culture is no longer valid, especially after Titus’s death, which suggests that human beings are born from nature and eventually return to it. Moreover, it was demonstrated that although Charles Arrowby, the protagonist and autodiegetic narrator, lives at the heart of nature, he seems to be ignorant of it. However, Titus’s death in a way reminds him of the necessity of human beings’ reconciliation with nature. Finally, it was argued that both nature and women, as represented by Hartley, are subjugated by the patriarchal society as their representations in the narrative are filtered by Charles’s consciousness. The findings of the present study will help Murdoch scholars to pay more attention to nature and its relationship with the characters in Murdoch’s works.