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|Title:||Peripheral Sympathies: Gender, Ethics, and Marginal Characters in the Novels of George Eliot|
|Authors:||Sopher, Robin E.|
|Department:||English and Cultural Studies|
|Keywords:||George Eliot;sympathy;characterization;gender;Victorian literature;Literature in English, British Isles;Literature in English, British Isles|
|Abstract:||<p>This dissertation explores the connections between sympathy, gender, and characterization in four novels by George Eliot. It contributes to studies of George Eliot’s work by offering readings of minor characters in <em>Adam Bede</em>, <em>The Mill on the Floss</em>, <em>Middlemarch</em>, and <em>Daniel Deronda</em>. Focusing on these characters, who have tended to be ignored in critical studies of the novels, this dissertation argues for a re-evaluation of the relationship between gender and sympathy as understood by George Eliot. Taking into consideration a number of characters who exhibit a range of gendered behaviours and identities, this study explores how both normative and non-normative expressions of masculinity and femininity inform individuals’ sympathy. It uses the concepts of sympathetic economies and sympathetic ethics to demarcate the tension between realism and idealism in George Eliot’s representations of sympathy. The goal of this dissertation is to begin to map out some of the ways in which careful attention to peripheral characters can enhance readings of sympathetic ethics and economies in George Eliot by showing the subtle and challenging ways in which sympathy inflects, and is in turn inflected by, discourses about femininity and masculinity.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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