Coming to terms with identity: social commentary on race, gender, and work in the domestic fiction of Louisa May Alcott and Jessie Redmon FausetShow full item record
|Coming to terms with identity: social commentary on race, gender, and work in the domestic fiction of Louisa May Alcott and Jessie Redmon Fauset
|Lewis, Janene Gabrielle Burnum
|Doctor of Philosophy
|The rationale for the comparative pairing and study of these two writers and their works has to do, first, with their relationship to the social and historical changes within which they were writing, and second, with their shared points of view, focus, and subject matter in writing. Both authors wrote in response to a number of topics that fall under the larger motif of women's identity formation. Their narratives invite a feminist reading of class themes, one that re-invisions the portrayal of female identity, both black and white, as a form of resistance. Both authors recognize that racism and sexism are not separate struggles because the prejudice their characters encounter directly relates to the roles women are allowed to play and the identities they are allowed to assume. Thus, Alcott and Fauset share a narrative intention to promote equality between the sexes and among the races and classes. Moreover, both are writing in the midst of ideological, economic, and political changes in American life and culture brought on by historical transition. Both experienced complex responses to this changing American culture, which they demonstrate by embracing urgent contemporary issues in their fiction.
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- Doctoral Dissertations