Presentation Title

Blurring lines & Crossing Boundaries: Grant Allen's The Woman Who Did

Start Date

November 2016

End Date

November 2016

Location

HUB 260

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Abstract

Within Victorian literature, gender and sensuality play a key role in who the characters are and how they are perceived by others. Towards the beginning of the 19th century women were often represented as innocent, obedient, pure homemakers. However, Victorian women were seen more as individuals rather than property with the establishment of the “Married Women’s Property Act” in the 1880s. With the coining of the term the “new woman”, women stepped away from the traditional roles in an effort to separate from old ideals and gain more independence. In doing this, the “new woman” became an area of interest both socially and within literature, prompting the birth of a new literary genre known as “new woman” fiction. This literature looks deeply into the female psyche and questions the traditional roles projected onto women as the heroine often strives to deviate from societal norms. In looking at this trend, my study looks closely at the end of England’s 19th century, most commonly known as the fin de siècle. In researching this area, I am focusing on Grant Allen’s The Woman Who Did, examining what influenced the creation of this novel and how it is an important reflection of the time. In addition, I am also focusing on the social perceptions of the “new woman” and the “new woman” herself. By looking at the culture and examining the ideas on the New Woman, marriage, and gender roles, my research argues that the new woman was not free rather she was trapped within a man-made social construct.

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Nov 12th, 3:30 PM Nov 12th, 3:45 PM

Blurring lines & Crossing Boundaries: Grant Allen's The Woman Who Did

HUB 260

Within Victorian literature, gender and sensuality play a key role in who the characters are and how they are perceived by others. Towards the beginning of the 19th century women were often represented as innocent, obedient, pure homemakers. However, Victorian women were seen more as individuals rather than property with the establishment of the “Married Women’s Property Act” in the 1880s. With the coining of the term the “new woman”, women stepped away from the traditional roles in an effort to separate from old ideals and gain more independence. In doing this, the “new woman” became an area of interest both socially and within literature, prompting the birth of a new literary genre known as “new woman” fiction. This literature looks deeply into the female psyche and questions the traditional roles projected onto women as the heroine often strives to deviate from societal norms. In looking at this trend, my study looks closely at the end of England’s 19th century, most commonly known as the fin de siècle. In researching this area, I am focusing on Grant Allen’s The Woman Who Did, examining what influenced the creation of this novel and how it is an important reflection of the time. In addition, I am also focusing on the social perceptions of the “new woman” and the “new woman” herself. By looking at the culture and examining the ideas on the New Woman, marriage, and gender roles, my research argues that the new woman was not free rather she was trapped within a man-made social construct.