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BIG GAME HUNTING ON MODERNIST TERRITORY: FEMALE ANIMALITY IN F. SCOTT FITZGERALD AND DJUNA BARNES

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Date Issued:
2021
Abstract/Description:
Among slaughterhouses and suffragists—writers of the American Modernist movement were called to the creative task of reimagining boundaries between human and nonhuman while also extending this conversation onto the site of “New Women.” The threat to “civilized man” by “primal nonhuman animal” becomes tied up with the threat of an independent “wild” woman to a system which traditionally depends upon her domestication. Female animality in modernist texts thus emerges as a symbol of both masculine anxiety and feminine liberation. When women begin to challenge traditional institutions which would see her survive exclusively by contract to a male “keeper,” men become increasingly desperate to establish an apex social, economic, and political position. As such, female animality in these texts is designed to reinforce or resist standard constructs of human/nonhuman and masculine/feminine, yet both assert the feminine-animal-character as a hybrid commodity bred for patriarchal consumption. Despite the heteronormative compulsion to sketch woman as an elusive animal to be hunted (courtship), caged (marriage), and kept (children)—there is also an advantage in recognizing one’s place in such a “jungle,” as scholars have often described progressive-era America. By examining the intersection of animality and feminist theory within modernist literature, it becomes clear that the category of nonhuman animal is one historically manipulated through patriarchal systems to delegate women’s bodies as a site of oppression and subordination.
Title: BIG GAME HUNTING ON MODERNIST TERRITORY: FEMALE ANIMALITY IN F. SCOTT FITZGERALD AND DJUNA BARNES.
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Name(s): Krieger, Shannon, author
Hagood, Taylor, Thesis advisor
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
Department of English
Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Created: 2021
Date Issued: 2021
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 73 p.
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Among slaughterhouses and suffragists—writers of the American Modernist movement were called to the creative task of reimagining boundaries between human and nonhuman while also extending this conversation onto the site of “New Women.” The threat to “civilized man” by “primal nonhuman animal” becomes tied up with the threat of an independent “wild” woman to a system which traditionally depends upon her domestication. Female animality in modernist texts thus emerges as a symbol of both masculine anxiety and feminine liberation. When women begin to challenge traditional institutions which would see her survive exclusively by contract to a male “keeper,” men become increasingly desperate to establish an apex social, economic, and political position. As such, female animality in these texts is designed to reinforce or resist standard constructs of human/nonhuman and masculine/feminine, yet both assert the feminine-animal-character as a hybrid commodity bred for patriarchal consumption. Despite the heteronormative compulsion to sketch woman as an elusive animal to be hunted (courtship), caged (marriage), and kept (children)—there is also an advantage in recognizing one’s place in such a “jungle,” as scholars have often described progressive-era America. By examining the intersection of animality and feminist theory within modernist literature, it becomes clear that the category of nonhuman animal is one historically manipulated through patriarchal systems to delegate women’s bodies as a site of oppression and subordination.
Identifier: FA00013789 (IID)
Degree granted: Thesis (M.A.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2021.
Collection: FAU Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection
Note(s): Includes bibliography.
Subject(s): Modernism (Literature)
Fitzgerald, F. Scott (Francis Scott), 1896-1940--Criticism and interpretation
Barnes, Djuna--Criticism and interpretation
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00013789
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.