Comparison of the portrayal of femininity and duty in three novels from 1740-1872

Thomas, Emma (2007) Comparison of the portrayal of femininity and duty in three novels from 1740-1872. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    The aim of this dissertation is to compare the ways in which female characters in novels throughout 1740-1872 are portrayed as either virtuous (dutiful) or transgressive (undutiful), and by doing so there will naturally be a comparison of the construction of femininity in this period. This will be done through the reading of three novels, (Pamela, Pride and Prejudice and Middlemarch) published respectively from the beginning, middle, and end of the time period. I will conduct a detailed study of each, looking at their central female characters, making comparisons to see whether there are any differences in the way they are depicted. I will also examine the ways in which the term duty has shifted over time, and how this is represented in the novels. The method of research for this dissertation stems from readings of both contemporary and modern critical material of both electronic journals and books, and also a close critical analysis of the three primary texts. The main argument of the conclusion will suggest that the majority of the characters in all three novels are ambiguously portrayed as to whether they are transgressive or virtuous. The characters are a mixture of both, implying that the author is making a critique of society's depiction of femininity and female virtue.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Media and Performing Arts
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:47
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:13

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