Title

The Androgynous Disguise: Marian Halcombe's Hidden Misogyny

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Room 135

Start Date

15-5-2014

End Date

15-5-2014

Keywords

Androgyny, Agency, Feminism

Abstract

This paper looks at the gender construction of Marian Halcombe in Wilkie Collins' The Woman in White. It explores her apparent independence while also looking at the effects of her so-called androgyny. It argues that though Marian can be read through a feminist lens, in the end her character and role reaffirm the patriarchy, as well as showing a disgust for the state of being female. By studying Marian's acts of agency throughout the novel, this paper strives to prove that each act results in the success of the patriarchy. Marian's relationships to two of the male characters also illustrate her decline from an independent character to a proponent of normal Victorian gender roles. The paper concludes that, though Marian strives to be a woman of agency, her attitude, actions, and the plot of the novel itself force her to accept a traditional female role.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Sutphin, Christine

Additional Mentoring Department

English

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May 15th, 2:40 PM May 15th, 3:00 PM

The Androgynous Disguise: Marian Halcombe's Hidden Misogyny

SURC Room 135

This paper looks at the gender construction of Marian Halcombe in Wilkie Collins' The Woman in White. It explores her apparent independence while also looking at the effects of her so-called androgyny. It argues that though Marian can be read through a feminist lens, in the end her character and role reaffirm the patriarchy, as well as showing a disgust for the state of being female. By studying Marian's acts of agency throughout the novel, this paper strives to prove that each act results in the success of the patriarchy. Marian's relationships to two of the male characters also illustrate her decline from an independent character to a proponent of normal Victorian gender roles. The paper concludes that, though Marian strives to be a woman of agency, her attitude, actions, and the plot of the novel itself force her to accept a traditional female role.