Committee Chair

Sligh, Charles

Committee Member

North, Susan; Ventura, Abbie

Department

Dept. of English

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Publisher

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)

Abstract

This thesis demonstrates how the emergent genre of girls’ literature in the Victorian period served to destabilize and challenge contemporary restrictive depictions of women. It revises the theory of Gilbert and Gubar in The Madwoman in the Attic, which posits that in nineteenth-century literature, women could only function as diseased, insane prisoners or else as angelic rulers of the domestic sphere; this thesis employs examples from Frances Hodgson Burnett’s A Little Princess to prove that even during the height of Victorian literature, books written for and about young girls were already troubling the dichotomy set up by the literature of their mothers and older sisters. Imagination as it is shown in Burnett’s novel is a process that combines the chaotic irrationality of the "madwoman’s" insanity and the logic and agency characteristic of the "angel in the home"—it provides a middle ground where aspects of the Victorian "good" and "wicked" femininities can be reconciled.

Degree

M. A.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Arts.

Date

8-2014

Subject

Children's stories, English -- History and criticism; Children's stories, English -- History and criticism

Name

Burnett, Frances Hodgson, -- 1849-1924 -- Criticism and interpretation

Keyword

Victorian literature; Theories of Authorship; Fathers and daughters; Fantasy; Children's Literature

Discipline

English Language and Literature

Document Type

Masters theses

Extent

vi, 83 leaves

Language

English

Rights

Under copyright.

License

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/

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