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


Nature, Narrative, Discourse: An Eco-Narratological Study of Iris Murdoch’s The Sea, the Sea
Murdoch’s The Sea, the Sea, nature, narrative discourse, eco-narratology, narratorial unreliability, autodiegetic narrative voice, Anthropocene
Researchers Mohammad Ghaffary ، Laya Shirmohamadi


Nature has always played a significant role in both human life and literature. Iris Murdoch (1919-99) is one of the most prominent twentieth-century English writers in whose works nature is treated as a serious problematic, not least in The Sea, the Sea (1978). Nevertheless, to date the thematic concept of nature and its representation in this novel have not been closely scrutinized from an ecocritical perspective, while considering the relationship between nature and narration or, more broadly, the role of nature in the novel’s narrative discourse proves to be vital in understating its themes. This considered, the present study, as a qualitative library research based on content analysis, adopts eco-narratology, as a sub-branch of ecocritical literary studies, to explore the way nature and its related issues are represented in the novel’s narrative discourse and how they impact upon the major characters’ mentality, personality, and behavior. The findings of the study demonstrate that in this novel the major characters’ discourses are filtered by Charles Arrowby’s authoritative voice as the novel’s protagonist and autodiegetic narrator and this deeply affects the reader’s attitude toward the characters, to the extent that the characters whom Charles likes most seem to have a positive relationship with nature whereas the ones he dislikes have a negative relation to it. The conclusions of the present study can carry crucial implications for Murdoch studies since they bring to the fore nature and its discursive representation as a considerable concept that has also been addressed in Murdoch’s other fictional works.