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.
|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|
|Subjects:||American literature, British and Irish literature|
|Keywords:||Christina Rossetti, Goblin market, Jane Austen, Little women, Louisa May Alcott, Pride and prejudice|
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