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Models of Claim, Resistance, and Activism in the Novels of Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Hays, and Frances Burney

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abstract
Using corpus linguistics and feminist approaches, this thesis examines the usage and construction of the term “claim” in Mary Wollstonecraft’s The Wrongs of Woman, Mary Hays’s Memoirs of Emma Courtney, and Francis Burney’s The Wanderer. By tracking the frequency of “claim” and its collocates through corpora, this thesis explicates each author’s distinct construction of the term and the ways in which it is used to explore the conditions of eighteenth-century womanhood, specifically in regards to women’s lack of fundamental human rights. In examining each text’s utilization of “claim,” I found that, while each author explores a different type or facet of eighteenth-century women’s sociopolitical experience, they all employ the term to construct a discourse on women’s rights that predates formal feminist movements. In doing so, Wollstonecraft, Hays, and Burney propose models of resistance to catalyze their readers to engage in a process of sociopolitical reclamation, foreshadowing the discourses and tensions that would develop in modern feminist movements.
subject
corpus linguistics
eighteenth-century literature
Frances Burney
Mary Hays
Mary Wollstonecraft
women's literature
contributor
Smith, Emily Carlyle (author)
Richard, Jessica (committee chair)
Kairoff, Claudia (committee member)
Lancaster, Zak C. (committee member)
date
2017-06-15T08:36:15Z (accessioned)
2017-06-15T08:36:15Z (available)
2017 (issued)
degree
English (discipline)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/82250 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
title
Models of Claim, Resistance, and Activism in the Novels of Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Hays, and Frances Burney
type
Thesis

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