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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Buildings, Bodies, and Patriarchs: The Shared Rhetoric of Social Renovation in Jane Austen's Mansfield Park, Charlotte Brontë's Villette, and Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South
by Scuro, Courtney Naum, M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2015, 111; 1594240
Abstract (Summary)

By reconsidering the concept of a “women’s literary tradition,” this study aims to uncover the links binding together Austen, Brontë, and Gaskell in a shared, female project of literary inquiry and political reformation. Reading the physical, material dimensions of the fictional environments (female movement, bodies, and socially defined spaces) in Mansfield Park, Villette, and North and South, we can see that all three novels engage in acts of subversive recuperation. After problematizing incumbent systems of masculine authority, these texts all work to infuse fresh relevancy and import into traditional value systems. Old is made new again as the influence of the novels’ heroines is seen to initiate processes of thoughtful social renovation able to rescue these young women from positions of threatening marginalization and able to realign existing patriarchal constructs with evolving communal needs.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Schurer, Norbert
Commitee: Blankley, Elyse, Hultgren, Neil
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: English
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 54/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Comparative literature, Womens studies, British and Irish literature
Keywords: Austen, Jane, Bronte, Charlotte, Feminism, Gaskell, Elizabeth, Nineteenth-century, Patriarchy, Victorian literature
Publication Number: 1594240
ISBN: 978-1-321-91161-9
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