Authors

Emma S. Shaw '16, Gettysburg College

Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Spring 2016

Department

English

Abstract

This essay examines Thomas Hardy's understanding and subversion of gender roles in The Mayor of Casterbridge by focusing on the novel's two most prominent characters and their respective progressions over the course of the narrative. Michael Henchard’s hypermasculine behavior and eventual undoing is juxtaposed with Elizabeth-Jane’s active rejection of the male gaze, as well as her unique role as a proxy for the reader. In his 1886 novel, Hardy questions the legitimacy of gender expectations by acknowledging and subsequently undermining patriarchal traditions.

Comments

English Senior Honors Thesis

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