Time Is of the Essence: Temporality, Gender, and the New Woman

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SUNY Press, 27.09.2001 - 291 Seiten
In Time Is of the Essence, Patricia Murphy argues that the Victorian debate on the Woman Question was informed by a crucial but as yet unexplored element at the fin de siècle: the cultural construction of time. Victorians were obsessed with time in this century of incessant change, responding to such diverse developments as Darwinism, a newfound faith in progress, an unprecedented fascination with history and origins, and the nascent discipline of evolutionary psychology. The works examined here novels by Thomas Hardy, Olive Schreiner, H. Rider Haggard, Sarah Grand, and Mona Caird manipulate prevalent discourses on time to convey anxieties over gender, which intensified in the century s final decades with the appearance of the rebellious New Woman. Unmasking the intricate relationship between time and gender that threaded through these and other works of the period, Murphy reveals that the cultural construction of time, which was grounded in the gender-charged associations of history, progress, Christianity, and evolution, served as a powerful vehicle for reinforcing rigid boundaries between masculinity and femininity. In the process, she also covers a number of other important and intriguing topics, including the effects of rail travel on Victorian perceptions of time and the explosion of watch production throughout the period.
 

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Inhalt

Introduction Victorian Temporality and the New Woman
1
Buttressing the Binary Temporal Dichotomies in She
31
Trapping the Female in Time History and Aesthetics in Tess of the dUrbervilles
71
Reinterpreting Evolutionary Development Feminine Psychology in The Beth Book and The Heavenly Twins
109
Controlling Womens Time Regulatory Days and Historical Determinism in The Daughters of Danaus
151
Dissolving the Boundaries Temporal Subversion in The Story of an African Farm
189
Pointing the Way to Modernist Time
227
Notes
233
Works Cited
259
Index
281
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Über den Autor (2001)

Patricia Murphy is Assistant Professor of English at Missouri Southern State College.

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