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The Photograph

Chess board, at the ready

Introduction:

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Current: Danbury, CT, United States
Welcome! A few years ago, I discovered an application that artists employ in their works to bring cultural awareness to their audiences. Having discerned this semiotic theory that applies to literature, music, art, film, and the media, I have devoted the blog, "Theory of Iconic Realism" to explore this theory. The link to the publisher of my book is below. If you or your university would like a copy of this book for your library or if you would like to review it for a scholarly journal, please contact the Edwin Mellen Press at the link listed below. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Thank you for visiting. I hope you will find the information insightful. ~ Dr. Jeanne Iris
To view my page on the Edwin Mellen Press website, please click below:

09 May, 2016

Sydney Owenson's "The Missionary" and Iconic Realism


In her novel, The Missionary, Sydney Owenson presents two religious communities, the Hindu community of 17th century India and the European Roman Catholic community during the Spanish Inquisition. Set in the year, 1620, after the establishment of the British East India Company in the lush jungles and arid desert of Western and Northern India, this tale illustrates a political genesis of European imperialism represented by the two central characters, Hilarion, a 25-year-old Portuguese Franciscan Nuncio and Luxima, a young, widowed Brahmin priestess.  

To some readers of this narrative, Owenson may appear to be telling an adventurous romance in an exotic setting to entertain her aristocratic readers, and this may be partially true. However, her romantic novel illustrates much more, for iconic properties of parochial dynamism reside at the core of each character’s restrictive community. These properties include the intense need for the Missionary to convert non-Christians to Catholicism and the deep conviction of a Hindu’s integration of natural and spiritual beliefs. Furthermore, Owenson creates an unrestrictive, fertile setting, where the Catholic missionary represents dogmatic and imperious Britain and the Hindu priestess, faithful to her own belief and community, represents the fervent hope for freedom of faith found in Owenson’s Catholic Ireland. 

Therefore, in her novel, The Missionary, Sydney Owenson illustrates the semiotic theory of iconic realism by representing two disparate icons, placed within a realistic community, to reveal a cultural reality that strict adherence to an intolerant dogma ultimately leads to the consequence of cultural cynicism.