Change of Condition: Women's Rhetorical Strategies on Marriage, 1710-1756

Change of Condition: Women's Rhetorical Strategies on Marriage, 1710-1756

Date: December 2005
Creator: Wood, Laura Thomason
Description: This dissertation examines ways in which women constructed and criticized matrimony both before and after their own marriages. Social historians have argued for the rise of companionacy in the eighteenth century without paying attention to women's accounts of the fears and uncertainties surrounding the prospect of marriage. I argue that having more latitude to choose a husband did not diminish the enormous impact that the choice would have on the rest of a woman's life; if anything, choice might increase that impact. Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Hester Mulso Chapone, Mary Delany, and Eliza Haywood recorded their anxieties about and their criticisms of marriage in public and private writings from the early years of the century into the 1750s. They often elide their own complex backgrounds in favor of generalized policy statements on what constitutes a good marriage. These women promote an ideal of marriage based on respect and similarity of character, suggesting that friendship is more honest, and durable than romantic love. This definition of ideal marriage enables these women to argue for more egalitarian marital relationships without overtly calling for a change in the wife's traditional role. The advancement of this ideal of companionacy gave women a means of ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Libertines Real and Fictional in Rochester, Shadwell, Wycherley, and Boswell

Libertines Real and Fictional in Rochester, Shadwell, Wycherley, and Boswell

Date: May 2008
Creator: Smith, Victoria
Description: Libertines Real and Fictional in Rochester, Shadwell, Wycherley, and Boswell examines the Restoration and eighteenth-century libertine figure as it appears in John Wilmot, Second Earl of Rochester's Satyr against Mankind, "The Maim'd Debauchee," and "Upon His Drinking a Bowl," Thomas Shadwell's The Libertine, William Wycherley's The Country Wife, and James Boswell's London Journal, 1762-1763. I argue that the limitations and self-contradictions of standard definitions of libertinism and the ways in which libertine protagonists and libertinism in general function as critiques of libertinism. Moreover, libertine protagonists and poetic personae reinterpret libertinism to accommodate their personal agendas and in doing so, satirize the idea of libertinism itself and identify the problematization of "libertinism" as a category of gender and social identity. That is, these libertines misinterpret-often deliberately-Hobbes to justify their opposition and refusal to obey social institutions-e.g., eventually marrying and engaging in a monogamous relationship with one's wife-as well as their endorsement of obedience to nature or sense, which can include embracing a libertine lifestyle in which one engages in sexual encounters with multiple partners, refuses marriage, and questions the existence of God or at least distrusts any sort of organized religion. Since any attempts to define the word "libertinism"-or at least ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Noctilucent

Noctilucent

Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Bush, Mary Gwen
Description: This dissertation is composed of two parts. Part I discusses the evolution of meditative poetry as a genre, with a particular emphasis on the influence of women poets and feminist critical theory. Part II is a collection of poems. Although several popular and critically-acclaimed poets working today write meditative poems, meditative poetry as a genre has not been systematically examined since M.H. Abrams’s essay on the meditative mode in Romantic poetry, “Structure and Style in the Greater Romantic Lyric.” Because one of the driving forces of meditative poetry is a longing for, or recognition of, a state of perception that lies between individual being and some form of universal ordering principle, meditative poetry might seem to be antithetical to a postmodern world that is fragmentary, contingent, and performative; indeed, earlier definitions of meditative poetry, tied to historical and cultural understandings of the individual and the Universal, no longer reflect “how we know” but only “how we knew.” However, this essay argues that there is a contemporary meditative structure that allows for a continued relationship between the individual and the Universal without resorting to the essentialism implicit in the genre as traditionally described. This new structure owes much to feminist theory, ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Always Painting the Future: Utopian Desire and the Women's Movement in Selected Works by United States Female Writers at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

Always Painting the Future: Utopian Desire and the Women's Movement in Selected Works by United States Female Writers at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

Date: August 2009
Creator: Balic, Iva
Description: This study explores six utopias by female authors written at the turn of the twentieth century: Mary Bradley Lane's Mizora (1881), Alice Ilgenfritz Jones and Ella Merchant's Unveiling Parallel (1893), Eloise O. Richberg's Reinstern (1900), Lena J. Fry's Other Worlds (1905), Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Herland (1915), and Martha Bensley Bruère's Mildred Carver, USA (1919). While the right to vote had become the central, most important point of the movement, women were concerned with many other issues affecting their lives. Positioned within the context of the late nineteenth century women's rights movement, this study examines these "sideline" concerns of the movement such as home and gender-determined spheres, motherhood, work, marriage, independence, and self-sufficiency and relates them to the transforming character of female identity at the time. The study focuses primarily on analyzing the expression of female historical desire through utopian genre and on explicating the contradictory nature of utopian production.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Taken In

Taken In

Date: May 2005
Creator: Levan, Michael Jon
Description: Taken In is a collection of poems about coming to terms with death, love, and the social responsibilities people owe to each other.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
"They Don't Make'em Like They Used To": Cultural Hegemony and the Representation of White Masculinity in Recent U.S. Cinema

"They Don't Make'em Like They Used To": Cultural Hegemony and the Representation of White Masculinity in Recent U.S. Cinema

Date: December 2005
Creator: Schneider, Matthew
Description: The purpose of this work is to illuminate how white male hegemony over women and minorities is inscribed through the process of film representation. A critical interrogation of six film texts produced over the last decade yields pertinent examples of how the process of hegemonic negotiation works to maintain power for the ever changing modes of postindustrial masculinity. Through the process of crisis and recuperation the central male characters in these films forge new, more acceptable attributes of masculinity that allow them to retain their centrality in the narrative.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Samuel Richardson's Revisions to Pamela (1740, 1801)

Samuel Richardson's Revisions to Pamela (1740, 1801)

Date: August 2004
Creator: Bender, Ashley Brookner
Description: The edition of Pamela a person reads will affect his or her perception of Pamela's ascent into aristocratic society. Richardson's revisions to the fourteenth edition of Pamela, published posthumously in 1801, change Pamela's character from the 1740 first edition in such a way as to make her social climb more believable to readers outside the novel and to "readers" inside the novel. Pamela alters her language, her actions, and her role in the household by the end of the first edition; in the fourteenth edition, however, she changes in little more than her title. Pamela might begin as a novel that threatens the fabric of class hierarchies, but it ends-both within the plot and externally throughout its many editions-as a novel that stabilizes and strengthens social norms.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Re-Envisioning an Eighteenth-Century Artifact: A Postmodern Reading of Tristram Shandy

Re-Envisioning an Eighteenth-Century Artifact: A Postmodern Reading of Tristram Shandy

Date: August 2011
Creator: Burns, Anthony Louis
Description: The interjection of a new and dynamically different reading of Lawrence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy is imperative, if scholars want to clearly see many of the hidden facets of the novel that have gone unexamined because of out-dated scholarship. Ian Watt’s assumption that Sterne “would probably have been the supreme figure among eighteenth-century novelists” (291) if he had not tried to be so odd, and the conclusion that he draws, that “Tristram Shandy is not so much a novel as a parody of a novel” (291), is incorrect. Throughout the thesis, I argue that Sterne was not burlesquing other novelists, but instead, was engaging with themes that are now being examined by postmodern theories of Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, and Jean François Lyotard: themes like the impenetrability of identity (“Don’t puzzle me” (TS 7.33.633)), the insufficiency of language (“Well might Locke write a chapter upon the imperfections of words” (5.6.429)), and the unavailability of permanence (“Time wastes too fast” (9.8.754)). I actively engage with their theories to deconstruct unexamined themes inside Tristram Shandy, and illuminate postmodern elements inside the novel. However, I do not argue that Tristram Shandy is postmodern. Instead, I argue that if the reader examines the novel outside ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
The Museum of Coming Apart

The Museum of Coming Apart

Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Lee, Bethany Tyler
Description: This dissertation comprises two parts: Part I, which discusses use of second person pronoun in contemporary American poetry; and Part II, The Museum of Coming Apart, which is a collection of poems. As confessional verse became a dominant mode in American poetry in the late 1950s and early 60s, so too did the use of the first-person pronoun. Due in part to the excesses of later confessionalism, however, many contemporary poets hesitate to use first person for fear that their work might be read as autobiography. The poetry of the 1990s and early 2000s has thus been characterized by distance, dissociation, and fracture as poets attempt to remove themselves from the overtly emotional and intimate style of the confessionals. However, other contemporary poets have sought to straddle the line between the earnestness and linearity of confessionalism and the intellectually playful yet emotionally detached poetry of the moment. One method for striking this balance is to employ the second person pronoun. Because "you" in English is ambiguous, it allows the poet to toy with the level of distance in a poem and create evolving relationships between the speaker and reader. Through the analysis of poems by C. Dale Young, Paul Guest, ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
The Sacred and the Profane: Nin, Barnes, and the Aesthetics of Amorality

The Sacred and the Profane: Nin, Barnes, and the Aesthetics of Amorality

Date: August 2009
Creator: Dunbar, Erin
Description: Barnes's Vagaries Malicieux, and Nin's Delta of Venus, are examples the developing vision of female sex, and both authors use their literary techniques to accomplish their aesthetic vision of amorality. Nin's visions are based on her and her friends' extreme experiences. Her primary concern was expressing her erotic and amorally aesthetic gaze, and the results of her efforts are found in her aesthetic vision of Paris and the amoral lifestyle. Barnes uses metaphor and linguistics to fashion her aesthetic vision. Her technique in "Run, Girls, Run!" both subverts any sense of morality, and offers an interesting and challenging read for its audience. In "Vagaries Malicieux" Barnes's Paris is dark while bright, and creates a sense of nothingness, indicated only by Barnes's aesthetic appreciation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
FIRST PREV 1 2 NEXT LAST