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Characterization of Women in the Fiction of Nathaniel Hawthorne

Description: While his Transcendentalist contemporaries were expounding their optimistic philosophy of natural goodness, progress, and perfectibility, Hawthorne probed into the human heart, recording the darkest motives of his characters and writing bitter criticism of life. Around him men were declaring that scientific inventions, political organizations, and religious reforms were ushering in a new era; but Hawthorne viewed the new society as a probable continuation of old evils and a manufacturer of new ones. His fiction has been called "an elaborate study of the centrifugal, . . . a dramatization of all those social and psychological forces that lead to disunion, fragmentation, dispersion, incoherence. Critics generally comment on Hawthorne's obsession with guilt. His pessimistic analysis of the mind, his somber outlook on living, and his personal tendency to solitude are frequently credited to his Puritan ancestry; yet as Arvin points out, "He had no more Puritan blood than Emerson and hundreds of other New Englanders of his time: and who will say that they were obsessed with the spectral presence of guilty. One must go beyond Calvinist theology to comprehend the source of guilt that hovers over the pages of his fiction. His religious, moral, educational, and economic background was so typical of his time and locality that one can hardly believe that the nature of his writing or thinking could have been determined by these factors. Indeed, his imperviousness to contemporary influences causes one to look intensely at his personal life in searching for the explanation of the Hawthorne enigma. An important influence on his writing was his prolonged association with women. From his life in a feminine world and his reaction to that world, he devised the major part of his style, themes, and feminine character types. A review of the facts of his biography will establish the nature of ...
Date: August 1956
Creator: Estes, Emory Dolphous, Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Motif of the Fairy-Tale Princess in the Novels of Shelby Hearon

Description: Shelby Hearon's eight novels--Armadillo in the Grass, The Second Dune, Hannah's House, Now and Another Time, A Prince of a Fellow, Painted Dresses, Afternoon of a Faun, and Group Therapy- -are unified by the theme of the fairy-tale princess and her quest to assert her autonomy and gain self-fulfillment while struggling with marriage, family, and the mother-daughter relationship. This study traces the development of Hearon' s feminist convictions in each of her novels by focusing on the changing quests of her heroines. This analysis of Hearon's novels attests to their lasting literary significance.
Date: May 1986
Creator: Keith, Anne Slay
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Treatment of Women in the Restoration Comedy of Manners

Description: Reflecting the real beau monde of Restoration London, the treatment of women in the comedy of manners was the best and most unusual characteristic of this dramatic type. With the first gay reaction against the past, the independent ladies demanded complete equality with men; intellectually, they gained that equality. To the gay belles, no less than to the beaux, wit was the passport to society. The truewit had everything; the witwould was social refuse, marked for that worst of all punishment--ridicule.
Date: August 1956
Creator: Brock, Dorothy Sala
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Treatment of the Heroines in Representative Novels of François Mauriac

Description: This study analyzes specific scenes in the novels dealt with in order to determine the type of women characters Mauriac has created. This study covers Mauriac's early, middle, and late periods as a novelist. The heroines are nearly all examined in relation to each other chronologically. The study shows that Mauriac first portrays a religious and simple heroine. The heroines become agnostic, if not atheistic in several of the subsequent novels. Through Therese, they become progressively more psychologically complex. They then become less complicated and, except for the last heroine, are religious. The last heroine is psychologically portrayed but is the least original of the heroines. The examination of Mauriac's women characters seems to show that the author is deeply sympathetic with the majority of them.
Date: May 1974
Creator: Hendry, Linda Ruth
Partner: UNT Libraries

D. H. Lawrence: Misogyny as Ideology in His Later Works of Fiction and Nonfiction

Description: Critics continue to debate Lawrence's attitude toward women: Some say Lawrence is a misogynist, some say he is an egalitarian, and others say he is ambivalent toward women. If Lawrence's works are divided into two chronological periods, before and after 1918, these differences of opinions begin to dissolve. Lawrence is fair in his treatment of women in the earlier works; however, in his later works Lawrence restricts women to what he calls the sensual realm, the realm of feelings and emotions. In addition, Lawrence denounces all women who assert individuality and self-responsibility. In the later works, Lawrence's ideology restricts the role of women and presents male supremacy as the natural and necessary order for human existence.
Date: August 1991
Creator: Hester, Vicki M. (Vicki Martin)
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Role of Female Stereotyping in Seven Elizabethan Tragedies

Description: During the Elizabethan period, certain stereotypes existed concerning women. Seven tragedies were examined to discover the role played by those stereotypes in the dramas. These include "The Spanish Tragedy," "Edward II," "Bussy D'Ambois," "The Changeling," "A Woman Killed with Kindness," "Othello," and "The Duchess of Malfi." Female stereotyping was found to be used in three important ways: in characterization, in motivation, and as a substitute for motivation. Some of the plays rely on stereotyping as a substitute for motivation while others use stereotyping only for characterization or subtly blend the existence of stereotyping into the overall plot. A heavy reliance on stereotype for motivation seems to reflect a lack of skill rather than an attempt to perpetuate those stereotypes.
Date: August 1976
Creator: Mosely, Hazel
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Depiction of Women and Negroes in the Fiction of Flannery O'Connor

Description: This thesis is an investigation into the nature of the characterizations of women and Negroes in the fiction of Flannery O'Connor and the extent to which the attitudes, beliefs, and ideas contained in the background of the author influenced such portrayals. The thesis identifies these influences as her native South and the Roman Catholic Church and concludes that her misogynistic treatment of women and sympathetic handling of Negroes proceeds from values placed on both groups in such influences.
Date: August 1974
Creator: Thomae, Sue Sessums
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Bifurcated Personalities of Christina Rossetti and Dante Gabriel Rossetti as Reflected in Their "Sister Poems"

Description: Christina Rossetti and Dante Gabriel Rossetti both suffered from ambivalent feelings concerning the role female sexuality plays in the salvation of the soul. These ambivalent feelings ranged from seeing female sexuality as leading men to salvation, to seeing it as a trap for the destruction of women's souls as well as men's. The contradictory feelings of the Rossettis' typifies the Victorian people's experience and was caused by the nature of the times. Using the analysis of the period by Walter E. Houghton in The Victorian Frame of Mind: 1830-1870, this paper describes the affect the Victorians' religious zeal, their "moral earnestness," and their "woman-worship" had on the two Rossetti poets.
Date: December 1988
Creator: Becherer, Nadine L. (Nadine Lee)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Conjugal Rights in Flux in Medieval Poetry

Description: This study explores how four medieval poems—the Junius manuscript’s Genesis B and Christ and Satan and Geoffrey Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde and The Parliament of Fowls—engage with medieval conjugal rights through their depictions of agentive female protagonists. Although many laws at this time sought to suppress the rights of women, especially those of wives’, both pre- and post-conquest poets illustrate women who act as subjects, exercising legal rights. Medieval canon and common law supported a certain amount of female agency in marriage but was not consistent in its understanding of what that was. By considering the shifts in law from Anglo-Saxon and fourteenth century England in relation to wives’ rights and female consent, my project asserts that the authors of Genesis B and Christ and Satan and the late-medieval poet Chaucer position their heroines to defend legislation that supports female agency in matters of marriage. The Anglo-Saxon authors do so by conceiving of Eve’s role in the Fall and harrowing of hell as similar to the legal role of a forespeca. Through Eve’s mimesis of Satan’s rhetoric, she is able to reveal an alternate way of conceiving of the law as merciful instead of legalistic. Chaucer also engages with a woman’s position in society under the law through his representation of Criseyde’s role in her courtship with Troilus in his epic romance, Troilus and Criseyde. Chaucer disrupts his audiences’ expectations by placing Criseyde as the more agentive party in her courtship with Troilus and shows that women might hope to the most authority in marriage by withholding their consent. In his last dream vision, The Parliament of Fowls, Chaucer engages again with the importance of female consent in marriage but takes his interrogation of conjugal rights a step further by imagining an alternate legal system through Nature, a female authority ...
Date: May 2014
Creator: Ward, Jessica D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Emilia Pardo Bazán: Feminism in Her Life and Works

Description: The purpose of this investigation is to show the relationship between the autobiographical information evidenced by the principal female characters in Emilia Pardo Bazan's major novels and her influence on nineteenth-century feminism in Spain. The changing nature of Pardo Bazan's feminism is studied through an analysis of two literary phases in her work. In the first, classified as naturalistic, Pardo Bazan concentrates on the nineteenth century woman and her limited role within society. The second phase reveals a change of perspective as the author creates a character type: this "new woman" is an expression of her feminist beliefs. As Pardo Bazan sought support for feminist goals, diverse intellectual activities characterized her life and became an integral aspect of her art.
Date: May 1976
Creator: Rogers, Kathryn
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Role and Treatment of Women in the Récits of André Gide

Description: Though Gide's homosexuality is well-documented, the theme of homosexuality plays a relatively minor role as it affects women in the récit. L'Immoraliste and Geneviève are the only ones in which the theme appears. Therefore, the reader will find little discussion of this subject per se in this work. This study will include only the récit, the art form which has come to be associated with Andre Gide. The récits include: L'Immoraliste (1902), La Porte étroite (1909), Isabelle (1911), La Symphonie pastorale (1919), L'Ecole des femmes (1929), Robert (1929), Geneviève (1936), and Thésée (1946).
Date: December 1973
Creator: Weinhardt, Yvonne Golding
Partner: UNT Libraries

Woman in Spanish Culture as Reflected in the Drama of Jacinto Benavente

Description: This is a study of the feminist content of the dramas of Jacinto Benavente (1866-1954) whose dramatic career spanned the same sixty years during which the most spectacular feminist advances took place in Spain. To this end twenty-nine plays are considered to illustrate topically Benavente's conception of the nature of Spanish women and his attitudes with regard to their position in society. It is concluded that Benavente in his first period of dramatic output drew into focus the problems confronting Spanish women in their culture, but in his second period (after 1920), however, he failed to portray adequately the modern female and her approach to the changing environment. Nevertheless, at its best, Benavente's drama constitutes a great contribution to feminist literature.
Date: August 1975
Creator: Cowen, Cheryl Lee Price
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Influence of Women on Walt Whitman

Description: It is the scope and purpose of this study to investigate the Whitman-woman relationship and to attempt to answer, so far as this Whitman puzzle may be answered, the question of the effect of women on the Whitman philosophy and the nature of that philosophy concerning women.
Date: 1952
Creator: Grace, Christine Lane Hawkins
Partner: UNT Libraries

Literary and Realistic Influences upon the Women of the Spectator

Description: This study will outline the two great literary genres of character-writing and satire, upon the tradition and practice of which Joseph Addison and Richard Steele based their characters of women in the Spectator. The three-fold purpose of this study is to determine how the Spectator was influenced by, and what it in turn contributed to, the two literary genres, the "Character" of women and satire on women; and to present the social status of the female audience as it existed and as the Spectator sought to improve it.
Date: August 1952
Creator: Perry, Carolyn Oliver
Partner: UNT Libraries

"Weaving a new wreath of immortal leaves": Bildung, Awakening, and Self-Redefinition in the Fiction of Elizabeth Stoddard

Description: Elizabeth Stoddard (1823-1902) has been overlooked by most modern literary critics and scholars. She needs to be incorporated into the canon of the American novel in order to establish a deserved critical visibility and to retain it for many years to come. Her groundbreaking fiction, unconventional by any nineteenth-century standard, especially as evidenced by The Morsesons and by some of her short stories, is characterized by penetrating psychology, individuality, and enduring literary qualities.
Date: August 1995
Creator: Quawas, Rula B. (Rula Butros Audeh)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Let His Conscience be her Guide: Ethical Self-Fashionings of Woman in Early-Modern Drama

Description: Female characters in early-modern drama, even when following the dictates of conscience, appear inextricably bound to patriarchal expectations. This paradoxical situation is explained by two elements that have affected the Renaissance playwright's depiction of woman as moral agent. First, the playwright's education would have included a traditional body of philosophical opinion regarding female intellectual and moral capacities that would have tried to explain rationally the necessity of woman's second-class status. However, by its nature, this body of information is filled with contradiction. Second, the playwright's education would have also included learning to use the rhetorical trope et utramque partem, that is arguing a position from all sides. Learning to use this trope would place the early-modern dramatist in the position of interrogating the contradictory notions of woman contained in the traditional sources. Six dramas covering over a sixty-year period from the mid-sixteenth to the early seventeenth centuries suggest that regardless of the type of work, comedy or tragedy, female characters are shown as adults seeking recognition as autonomous moral beings while living in a culture that works to maintain their dependent status. These works include an early comedy Ralph Roister Doister, a domestic tragedy A Woman Killed With Kindness, a closet drama The Tragedy of Mariam: The Fair Queen of Jewry, two romances, Cymbeline and The Winter's Tale, and a tragedy The Duchess of Malfi. What these plays suggest is that throughout early-modern drama, the female character is often depicted as resisting patriarchal demands that are inherently irrational, especially when these demands contradict ethical behavior that the culture ostensibly supports. The Renaissance playwright's depiction of woman as moral agent is encouraging in that even though the female character may not be successful within the parameters of the drama, nevertheless, the fact that her moral dilemma is described in ways that ...
Date: August 2003
Creator: Penque, Ruth Ida
Partner: UNT Libraries

Wandering Women: Sexual and Social Stigma in the Mid-Victorian Novel

Description: The changing role of women was arguably the most fundamental area of concern and crisis in the Victorian era. Recent scholarship has done much to illuminate the evolving role of women, particularly in regard to the development of the New Woman. I propose that there is an intermediary character type that exists between Coventry Patmore's "angel of the house" and the New Woman of the fin de siecle. I call this character the Wandering Woman. This new archetypal character adheres to the following list of characteristics: she is a literal or figurative orphan, is genteelly poor or of the working class, is pursued by a rogue who offers financial security in return for sexual favors; this sexual liaison, unsanctified by marriage, causes her to be stigmatized in the eyes of society; and her stigmatization results in expulsion from society and enforced wandering through a literal or figurative wilderness. There are three variations of this archetype: the child-woman as represented by the titular heroine of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre and Little Nell of Charles Dickens' The Old Curiosity Shop; the sexual deviant as represented by Miss Wade of Dickens' Little Dorrit; and the fallen woman as represented by the titular heroine of Thomas Hardy' Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Hetty Sorrel of George Eliot's Adam Bede, and Lady Dedlock of Dickens' Bleak House. Although the Wandering Woman's journey may resemble a variation of the bildungsroman tradition, it is not, because unlike male characters in this genre, women have limited opportunities. Wandering Women always carry a stigma because of their "illicit" sexual relationship, are isolated because of this, and never experience a sense of fun or adventure during their journey. The Wandering Woman suffers permanent damage to her reputation, as well as to her emotional welfare, because she has been unable to conform ...
Date: August 2000
Creator: Jackson, Lisa Hartsell
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Foreshadowing of Women's Liberation as Seen in Selected Plays of Molière

Description: The problem with which this investigation is concerned is that of revealing certain liberated female traits that are to be found as early as the seventeenth century in certain plays of Moliere. A study of the major events in Moliere's life and of the social climate and salons of his time, together with a close analysis of the plays themselves, is necessary to understand this important aspect of his works. In essence, this study attempts to show how Moliere's women emerge as independent individuals who refuse the role society usually assigns them. Although these female characters are products of the seventeenth century, their actions and attitudes are used in this thesis to indicate a foreshadowing of the twentieth-century, liberated woman.
Date: May 1977
Creator: Owen, Jacqueline
Partner: UNT Libraries

Anne Brontë's New Women: Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall as Precursors of New Woman Fiction

Description: Anne Brontë's Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall were published more than forty years before the appearance of the feminist type that the Victorians called the “New Woman;” yet, both novels contain characteristics of New Woman fiction. By considering how Brontë's novels foreshadow New Woman fiction, the reader of these novels can re-enact the “gentlest” Brontë as an influential feminist whose ideology informed the construction of the radical New Woman. Brontë, like the New Woman writers, incorporated autobiographical dilemmas into her fiction. By using her own experiences as a governess, Brontë constructs Agnes Grey's incongruent social status and a morally corrupt gentry and aristocracy through her depiction of not only Agnes's second employers, the Murrays, but also the morally debauched world that Helen enters upon her marriage to Arthur Huntingdon in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Moreover, Brontë incorporates her observations of Branwell's alcoholism and her own religious beliefs into The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Although Brontë's novels contain autobiographical material, her heroines are fictional constructions that she uses to engage her readers with the woman question. Brontë accomplishes this engagement through her heroines' narrative re-enactments of fictional autobiographical dilemmas. Helen's diary and Agnes's diary-based narrative produce the pattern of development of the Bildungsroman and foreshadow the New Woman novelists' Kunstlerromans. Brontë's heroines anticipate the female artist as the protagonist of the New Woman Kunstlerromans. Agnes and Helen both invade the masculine domain of economic motive and are feminists who profess gender definitions that conflict with dominant Victorian ideology. Agnes questions her own femininity by internalizing the governess's status incongruence, and Helen's femininity is questioned by those around her. The paradoxical position of both heroines anticipates the debate about the nature and function of art in which the New Woman writers engaged. Through her reconciliation of the aesthetic ...
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Date: August 2001
Creator: Phillips, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Development of the Dominant Female in Selected Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald

Description: This study of thirty representative short stories from 1912-1941 demonstrates the stages of growth in Fitzgerald's writing which emerged from his own mental development, focusing upon his changing attitudes toward women as he reflects these attitudes in his depictions of the dominant female figures in the stories. The above chronology is then divided into four major blocks; in each block the dominant female illustrates Fitzgerald's concept of women at that particular stage of his life, The stories prove to be integral to the whole of Fitzgerald's writing and deserve to be judged independently of the novels. Furthermore, through an examination of Fitzgerald's short stories, the growth periods and the natural course of his changing attitudes become all the more clear and incisive.
Date: August 1977
Creator: Rose, Elizabeth D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Anne Tyler's Treatment of Managing Women

Description: Among the most important characters in contemporary writer Anne Tyler's nine novels of modern American life are her skillfully-drawn managing women who choose the family circle as the arena in which to use their skills and exert their influence. Strong, competent, independent, capable of caring for themselves, their husbands, their children, and others, too, as well as holding outside jobs, these women are the linchpins of their families. Among their most outstanding qualities are their abilities to endure hardships with heads high and skills unhampered. Within this broad category of managing women, Tyler clearly delineates two types of managers: the regenerative managing woman and the rigid managing woman. A major character in every novel, the regenerative managing woman not only endures, she also adapts. The key to her development and her strength is her capacity for trying again, renewing herself, and her family relationships. The evolution of a vital regenerative woman from a lonely childhood through the beginning of her vibrant womanhood is a key element in every Tyler novel. This development always includes an escape from her original family? an attempt to establish her own family; at least one major hardship that often sends her reeling home; and finally, at least one new start toward establishing her ideal family circle. Tyler's treatment of the regenerative managing woman in the first four novels concentrates on her young womanhood and her early establishment of her family. The later novels begin when the regenerative managing woman is in her thirties or forties and concentrate primarily on the ways the regenerative woman manages her family. Many of Tyler's novels also feature a rigid managing woman. While this character type manages with strength and competence, she is not a positive influence on her family. She endures. But she does not adapt. Too proud to ...
Date: August 1985
Creator: Brock, Dorothy Faye Sala
Partner: UNT Libraries

Whitman's Failures: "Children of Adam" in the Light of Feminist Ideals

Description: Walt Whitman was a feminist, and this assertion can be supported by excerpts from his prose, poetry, and conversation. Furthermore, the poet's circle of associates, chronology, and place of residence also lend credence to the hypothesis stating Whitman's subscription to feminist credos. A pro-feminine attitude is evident in much of Whitman's work, and his ties to the women's rights movement of the nineteenth century do influence the poet's portrayal of women. But the section of poems titled "Children of Adam" proves to be an anomaly in Walt Whitman's feminist attitudes. Instead of portraying women as equals, able to walk a path of equanimity with males, the women of "Children of Adam" are often obscured in linguistic veils or subjugated to the poet's Adamic rhetoric.
Date: May 1991
Creator: Brown, Bryce Dean
Partner: UNT Libraries

La Búsqueda de la Identidad Femenina en las Novelas de Dos Autoras Mexicanas

Description: The novel is one means by which writers can provide examples of the possibilities for women in patriarchal societies to seek greater independence. Sabina Berman (1955- ) and Silvia Molina (1946- ) are modern day Mexican novelists whose writings support the betterment of the female condition in this Latin American society. This study focuses on these two authors and describes and analyzes several of their female protagonists who can be characterized as being in search of their self-identity and self-realization. The novels of interest are La Bobe (2006) and La Mujer que Buceó Dentro del Corazón del Mundo (2010) by Sabina Berman and La Mañana Debe Seguir Gris (1977) and El Amor Que Me Juraste (1998) by Silvia Molina. The theoretical framework used to analyze these novels is based on The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir and on the writings of the Mexican author Rosario Castellanos. These novels provide examples of how women can challenge patriarchal social norms in order to seek their identity as an individual and their self-realization. However, to do this, women must be willing to accept the risks and costs that may accompany this self-searching. By seeking identity women can satisfy their longings and desires, but at the same time this may also produce undesired results. Nevertheless, these novels show that women have the ability to seek their personal identity if they take the initiative to do so.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Shrefler, Carmen Lara
Partner: UNT Libraries