Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Women's Circles Broken: The Disruption of Sisterhood in Three Nineteenth-Century Works
by Gunn, Meagan, M.A., Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, 2017, 61; 10264176
Abstract (Summary)

Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market,” and Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women are three works which focus on communities of women. Since women had such limited opportunities available to them in the nineteenth century, marriage was the most viable option for survival. An interesting connection found, though, among the literature written by women at the time is the way in which women thrive together in communities with each other—up until the men enter the scene. Once the men, or more commonly, one man who is also the future husband, disrupt these women-centered communities, the close bond among women is severed. These three authors envisioned a better option than marriage—a supportive sisterhood—safe, loving, and uninterrupted. How and why did women thrive together in these three fictional nineteenth-century communities? How did they communicate? In what spaces did these communities exist? In what ways did men disrupt these communities, and was it possible for women to regain a similar level of closeness with each other after the disruption of men (i.e. marriage)? This thesis looks at the various viewpoints and treatments each author brought to women’s communities, their importance, formation, and men’s intrusions upon them.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: DeSpain, Jessica
Commitee: Anderson, Jill, Johnson, Heather
School: Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
Department: English Language and Literature
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: MAI 56/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: American literature, British and Irish literature
Keywords: Christina Rossetti, Goblin market, Jane Austen, Little women, Louisa May Alcott, Pride and prejudice
Publication Number: 10264176
ISBN: 9781369760941
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