Henry James: Ethnographer of American Women in Victorian Patriarchy
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This paper examines the social question: is 19th century women's identity socially determined or do 19th century women have the liberty to forge their own identities as they see fit? In order to answer this question, this paper treats Henry James as ethnographer and "Daisy Miller" and <underline>The Portrait of a Lady</underline> as ethnographies of American women in Victorian Europe. The primary focus of this paper is Isabel Archer and how she is constructed from Henry James's Daisy Miller and George Eliot's Gwendolen Harleth, in order to demonstrate that while 19th century women were victimized by the tyranny of Victorian patriarchy, 19th century women were also capable of resisting and subverting normative Victorian social expectations for women.
SubjectBritish & Irish Literature
The Portrait of a Lady
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