Identifier

etd-04132005-135311

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

In this dissertation, I examine four of Margaret Oliphant's novels, her supernatural fiction, and her literary reviews, revealing how she relies on her knowledge of the cultural sign system, domesticity, and women's value to show how women may successfully navigate middle-class Victorian society. She accomplishes this by identifying the places where women's strengths lie: the boundaries between work and family, between the spiritual and material, amid the everyday details that she herself realizes reveal the workings of society. She sets herself up as a voice of authority within the system itself, not as a distant, all-knowing sage but as someone who shares the tensions that women in the Victorian period experienced while searching for meaningful occupation and serving as the heart of a household, and ultimately reveals that women are able to exert control over themselves in previously unacknowledged ways.

Date

2005

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Elsie B. Michie

Share

COinS