House or Lodgings?: A Whore`s Lease on Husbandry in Roxana
어문학 > 영문학
( Si Yeon Lee )
18세기영문학 2012년, 제9권 제2호, 127~154페이지(총28페이지)
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    The protagonist of Daniel Defoe`s The Fortunate Mistress, commonly known as Roxana, undergoes a sea change from a "Lady of Pleasure" to a "Woman of Business" in mid-career, and this metamorphosis into a "She-Merchant" or "Man-Woman" concurs with her nonnegotiable rejection of remarriage and the status of a feme covert. Instead of forfeiting "Liberty" for the delusive proprietorship of the husband`s ``house,`` Roxana opts for mistresshood in a succession of ``leases`` on various ``lodgings`` of her choice and management, Roxana`s deliberate assumption of mistresshood for its "Liberty" and masculine "Command" is tantamount to declaring herself to be her own husband, thus bringing into effect her double lease on husbandry, as master/mistress of her space/body and of her business and finances. Housekeeping and bookkeeping become one in Roxana`s unique business of husbandry, of which her narrative serves as the ledger, Numerous exhilarating entries of highly self-conscious spatial and financial management notwithstanding, a closer examination of Roxana`s ledger discloses critical flaws that prove adverse to her ``credit`` in both of her capacities. Not only does she end up losing control over her space/body to male penetration in the end, but Roxana turns out disqualified as a (wo)man of business, too, for her inability to read and keep accounts, whatever her total value may come up to. Accordingly, Roxana forfeits her narrative credit as well, when Susan, her daughter and former servant in the Pall Mall lodgings, appropriates it by persistently re-telling the story of Roxana the king`s courtesan from her stolen gaze, which is a retroactive, hence irrevocable, proof of Roxana`s lapse even at the height of her prosperous housekeeping.
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