Presentation Title

Simulations of the Androgynous Society: Shattering Gender Stereotypes in George Eliot’s Silas Marner

Start Date

November 2016

End Date

November 2016

Location

HUB 260

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Abstract

This paper examines George Eliot's novel Silas Marner and the compelling argument it asserts against Victorian gender stereotypes. Through the contradictory successes of characters that fail to conform to their expected niches, Eliot presents her revolutionary vision for an androgynous society. Most notably, Silas’s accidental motherhood redeems his purpose while saving Eppie's life, Priscilla's ability to protect the well-being of her family stems from her avoidance of a husband and assumption of a “masculine” managerial position, and Eppie’s idyllic life with Silas is preserved by her refusal to be treated as a possession by male authority figures. Through the experiences of these figures, infused with elements of Eliot’s personal struggles and observations, the author demands a more efficient and effective world that is free from the cumbersome and arbitrary burdens of gender expectations.

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Nov 12th, 2:00 PM Nov 12th, 2:15 PM

Simulations of the Androgynous Society: Shattering Gender Stereotypes in George Eliot’s Silas Marner

HUB 260

This paper examines George Eliot's novel Silas Marner and the compelling argument it asserts against Victorian gender stereotypes. Through the contradictory successes of characters that fail to conform to their expected niches, Eliot presents her revolutionary vision for an androgynous society. Most notably, Silas’s accidental motherhood redeems his purpose while saving Eppie's life, Priscilla's ability to protect the well-being of her family stems from her avoidance of a husband and assumption of a “masculine” managerial position, and Eppie’s idyllic life with Silas is preserved by her refusal to be treated as a possession by male authority figures. Through the experiences of these figures, infused with elements of Eliot’s personal struggles and observations, the author demands a more efficient and effective world that is free from the cumbersome and arbitrary burdens of gender expectations.