Submission Title

Women Writing Masculinities in the Victorian Era

Presenter Information

Emily Courchaine, Gonzaga University

Session Number

SS9

Location

Weyerhaeuser 305

Abstract Number

SS9-b

Abstract

This paper examines the effects that Victorian constructions of gender have on the way in which men and women form interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships in the narrative poem Aurora Leigh, by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. In the 19th century, a new dichotomy between masculinity and femininity emerged, a phenomenon which David Rosen explains in The Changing Fictions of Masculinity as destructive to relationships and self understanding. By analyzing the evolution of the relationship between Aurora Leigh and her cousin Romney in light of this new dichotomy, I intend to show that the agency and self-definition that Aurora Leigh is able to achieve through her writing allows both her and Romney to transcend the limitations of gendered expectations and participate in a spiritually fulfilling relationship in which they mutually recognize one another.

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Apr 23rd, 3:15 PM Apr 23rd, 4:45 PM

Women Writing Masculinities in the Victorian Era

Weyerhaeuser 305

This paper examines the effects that Victorian constructions of gender have on the way in which men and women form interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships in the narrative poem Aurora Leigh, by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. In the 19th century, a new dichotomy between masculinity and femininity emerged, a phenomenon which David Rosen explains in The Changing Fictions of Masculinity as destructive to relationships and self understanding. By analyzing the evolution of the relationship between Aurora Leigh and her cousin Romney in light of this new dichotomy, I intend to show that the agency and self-definition that Aurora Leigh is able to achieve through her writing allows both her and Romney to transcend the limitations of gendered expectations and participate in a spiritually fulfilling relationship in which they mutually recognize one another.