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new woman before she was new: Olive Schreiner's "The Story of an African Farm" and Fanny Fern's "Ruth Hall"

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Date Issued:
2000
Summary:
Despite the designation of Olive Schreiner's Lyndall in The Story of an African Farm as the first "New Woman" in literature, the nineteenth-century New Woman, with her high ideals and belief in an androgynous compromise of sex roles, is exemplified by Fanny Fern's heroine Ruth in the novel Ruth Hall. While Lyndall speaks of social injustice done to women, the limitations of her provincial setting preclude her protests from achieving the level of social activism; however, Ruth's protests, in the form of newspaper articles, do reach the level of social activism. Schreiner's androgynous ideal becomes lost in a role reversal rather than role dissolution, while Fern's Ruth achieves the metamorphosis from voiceless stereotype to empowered woman, breaking established gender conventions. Ruth, revealed to the literary world before Schreiner's Lyndall, is not only an earlier New Woman but also a stronger and more successful New Woman.
Title: The new woman before she was new: Olive Schreiner's "The Story of an African Farm" and Fanny Fern's "Ruth Hall".
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Name(s): Richardson, Dana Jo.
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
Buckton, Oliver, Thesis advisor
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2000
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 88 p.
Language(s): English
Summary: Despite the designation of Olive Schreiner's Lyndall in The Story of an African Farm as the first "New Woman" in literature, the nineteenth-century New Woman, with her high ideals and belief in an androgynous compromise of sex roles, is exemplified by Fanny Fern's heroine Ruth in the novel Ruth Hall. While Lyndall speaks of social injustice done to women, the limitations of her provincial setting preclude her protests from achieving the level of social activism; however, Ruth's protests, in the form of newspaper articles, do reach the level of social activism. Schreiner's androgynous ideal becomes lost in a role reversal rather than role dissolution, while Fern's Ruth achieves the metamorphosis from voiceless stereotype to empowered woman, breaking established gender conventions. Ruth, revealed to the literary world before Schreiner's Lyndall, is not only an earlier New Woman but also a stronger and more successful New Woman.
Identifier: 9780599640887 (isbn), 15771 (digitool), FADT15771 (IID), fau:12523 (fedora)
Collection: FAU Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection
Note(s): Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters
Thesis (M.A.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2000.
Subject(s): Feminism in literature
Schreiner, Olive,--1855-1920--Criticism and interpretation
Schreiner, Olive,--1855-1920--Story of an African farm
Fern, Fanny,--1811-1872--Criticism and interpretation
Fern, Fanny,--1811-1872--Ruth Hall
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fcla/dt/15771
Sublocation: Digital Library
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author, with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Host Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.