Home WakeSpace Scholarship › Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Blending Birth and Behavior: Masculine Representations of Patriarchy and Capitalism in the Eighteenth-Century Novel of Manners

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Item Files

Item Details

Out of England’s turbulent and transitional eighteenth century emerged a new literary genre that sought to reestablish a sense of social order by indoctrinating the average citizen with codes of politeness and morality. With its distinctly didactic tone, the novel grew increasingly popular, particularly with young girls, who could now learn virtue and propriety through the fictional heroine’s numerous adventures and etiquette blunders. Indeed, this sort of novel of manners even today continues to attract an overwhelming number of critics interested in women’s issues ranging from girls’ education to the marriage market. Yet, throughout all of the current scholarship, there still exists an apparent oversight, which leaves the male characters within this type of literature viewed, at best, as basic narrative devices or, at worst, leaves them simply ignored. With this omission in mind, I intend to trace the various types of masculine figures typically found in the eighteenth-century novel of manners through Eliza Haywood’s The History of Miss Betsy Thoughtless, Frances Burney’s Evelina, and Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey. While I do not purport to fill this evident gap in scholarship, I would like to offer a glimpse into it. Overall, I hope to contribute to the current body of criticism by demonstrating that the male characters within this historically feminine genre of fiction are more than mere plot devices. By examining masculine representations of patriarchy and capitalism in these three texts, I intend to demonstrate that the novel of manners, rather than simply instructing eighteenth-century women readers on how to think and act properly, actually moves beyond such domestic concerns into the realm of national economy, politics, and power.
Fiction, Novel, Novel of Manners
Eighteenth Century, 18th Century
British, England
Masculinity, Men, Male
Eliza Haywood, Frances Burney, Jane Austen
McGowen, Ashley Weston (author)
Kairoff, Claudia (committee chair)
Richard, Jessica (committee member)
Jenkins, Melissa (committee member)
2010-04-28T21:00:14Z (accessioned)
2010-06-18T18:57:45Z (accessioned)
2010-04-28T21:00:14Z (available)
2010-06-18T18:57:45Z (available)
2010-04-28T21:00:14Z (issued)
English (discipline)
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/14712 (uri)
en_US (iso)
Wake Forest University
Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide. (accessRights)
Blending Birth and Behavior: Masculine Representations of Patriarchy and Capitalism in the Eighteenth-Century Novel of Manners

Usage Statistics