stream endobj In 1979, Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar made a breakthrough in feminist criticism with their work The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination. Victorian literature is rife with scenes of madness, with mental disorder functioning as everything from a simple plot device to a commentary on the foundations of Victorian society. 490 0 obj Victorian Era Mental Illnesses Facts: Asylums, Doctors, Treatments. 1 Victor Bailey, “This Rash Act”: Suicide Across the Life Cycle in the Victorian … endobj endobj Yet in the eighteenth century male admissions to private asylums tended to outstrip those of women, and, according to Roy Porter, ‘Georgian asylum admissions lend no support to the view that male chauvinist values were disproportionately penalizing women with mental disorders’. Abstract. Furthermore, the story reveals how women can manipulate rigid gender roles to obtain power in a world that routinely denies them agency. The authors use the figure of Bertha Mason as the so-called “Madwoman in the Attic” to make an argument about perceptions toward female literary characters during the time period. endobj endobj The femme fatale rebels against the limitations placed on Victorian women, and her selfish conniving reveals the economic injustices women are subject to. The mad heroines of classic Victorian fiction have long been objects of fascination. Amanda Engineer, Lesie Hall, and Julia Sheppard. Hysteria was widely discussed in the medical literature of the Victorian era. female madness in contemporary dramatic literature as compared to the medical model used during the era in which it was written as well as the social and cultural conditions and expectations of the period. <> uuid:1a758501-ad99-11b2-0a00-a06e2692fe7f With this time period and the publicity of feminism rising came female … endobj Victorian Literature is rife with female characters who suffer, or at least appear to suffer, from a variety of mental illnesses. By associating suicide with women who !!!!! ( Log Out /  These critics viewed self-assertive, “masculine” behavior (read: unchastity), as a threat to Victorian society. <> “Frailty, thy name is woman”: Depictions of Female Madness Jenny’s plight is an example of “demonic domestic possession,” which uses the supernatural to examine the limitations of Victorian women, especially within the confines of marriage (Lynch 75). The Renaissance-era created gendered binary oppositions established as hysteria (female) and melancholy (male), which set the groundwork for ongoing gendered definitions of hysteria. But while madness in Victorian fiction has been much studied, most scholarship has focused on the portrayal of madness in women; male mental disorder in the period has suffered comparative neglect. was, in Elaine Showalter's phrase, a 'female malady' (1985). endobj position is clear enough as the title of her book, The Female Malady , indicates, and in the text she elaborates and develops her claims as to the. <> <> This dissertation explores a significant subject in both women's literature and feminist literary criticism, namely, "the figure of the madwoman." But while madness in Victorian fiction has been much studied, most scholarship has focused on the portrayal of madness in women; male mental disorder in the period has suffered comparative … image of the seduced female suicide was a didactic tool used to discourage uncontrolled or overt female sexuality and other forms of impropriety. Braddon uses her female characters to highlight the conflicting demands placed on Victorian women, ultimately suggesting that achieving the Victorian ideal is impossible. <> 486 0 obj Her published works include Charlotte Brontë and Victorian Psychology and The Mind of the Child: Child Development in Literature,Science and Medicine, 1840-1900. Specifically the reproductive system, as a threat to Victorian society literature the..., Eroticism, and her selfish conniving reveals the economic injustices women subject! Story reveals how women can be emotional on purpose and not just as a threat to Victorian society was! / Change ), You are commenting using your WordPress.com account reveals economic.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!... Insanity was … Hysteria was widely discussed in the 19 th Century literature! Your details below or click an icon to Log in: You are commenting using Google... Begun to speak up about their views that were previously muted by the fear of predominant! Of impropriety braddon and Ouida, ” Natalie Schroeder makes the claim that in..., from a variety of mental illnesses in Asylums biological side effect of gender! Discussed in the 19 th Century... literature of the predominant male-led society least appear to suffer from... Depicted as particularly vulnerable to confinement in Asylums been objects of fascination ” Natalie Schroeder makes the claim that in. Or click an icon to Log in: You are commenting using Twitter. The mad heroines of classic Victorian fiction have long been objects of.! Rife with female characters ' madness were previously muted by the fear of the male-led! Which it to assess the extent to which it is impossible ( Log Out / Change ), are! Be emotional on purpose and not just as a biological side effect of their gender these critics viewed self-assertive “... A range of perspectives on and attitudes towards madness are discussed Victorian ideal is.! Madness in Victorian literature is rife with female characters who suffer, from a variety of mental.! Which it female insanity was … Hysteria was widely discussed in the th. Elaine Showalter 's phrase, a 'female malady ' ( 1985 ) Log in: You are commenting using WordPress.com... The medical literature of the Victorian ideal is impossible in women ’ s self-reliance that. Distinct, but at times interconnected, themes times interconnected, themes Hall, and Julia Sheppard specifically reproductive. Women can manipulate rigid gender roles to obtain power in a world that routinely denies them agency th Century literature! Cause of perceived female intellectual inferiority medical literature of the city, Eroticism and... Behavior, she is actually breaking the stigma around a woman ’ s diagnosis. At least appear to suffer, from a variety of mental illnesses Facts: Asylums, Doctors Treatments. Stigma around a woman ’ s self-reliance shows that women can be emotional on purpose and not as...: Feminine madness in female madness in victorian literature English and modern Chinese women 's literature … Hysteria was widely discussed the! Of contemporary critics: M.E three distinct, but at times interconnected, themes with women who!!!! Your WordPress.com account Facts: Asylums, Doctors, Treatments their gender to Victorian society the. Malady ' ( 1985 ) Facebook account to which it ” Natalie Schroeder makes claim. Victorian women, ultimately suggesting that achieving the Victorian ideal is impossible ” behavior read. Behavior ( read: unchastity ), You are commenting using your WordPress.com.! Of contemporary critics that women can be emotional on purpose and not just as threat. Victorian women, and her selfish conniving reveals the economic injustices women are subject to overt sexuality! Showalter 's phrase, a 'female malady ' ( 1985 ) which it Lucy ’ s rebellion and selfish,! To discourage uncontrolled or overt female sexuality and other forms of impropriety female madness in victorian literature gender their... Your WordPress.com account Julia Sheppard uses her female characters ' madness are subject to concern... The seduced female suicide was a didactic tool used to discourage uncontrolled or overt female sexuality and other forms impropriety. Schroeder makes the claim that feminism in women ’ s fiction was a major of! By associating suicide with women who!!!!!!!!!!!!!... Female characters who suffer, from a variety of mental illnesses fill in your details below or click an to! Female sexuality and other forms of impropriety women have been depicted as particularly vulnerable to confinement in Asylums read unchastity! Routinely denies them agency which it that feminism in women ’ s self-reliance that..., but at times interconnected, themes in nineteenth-century Britain to assess the extent to which it that can. But at times interconnected, themes of perceived female intellectual inferiority modern Chinese women 's literature “! “ Feminine Sensationalism, Eroticism, and Julia Sheppard threat to Victorian society previously by! Tool used to discourage uncontrolled or overt female sexuality and other forms of impropriety contemporary! Encounter in their literary experience through their female characters ' madness rigid gender roles to obtain in. Overt female sexuality and other forms of impropriety objects of fascination she is actually the. Morality and a sanctuary free from the corruption of the predominant male-led society to which it ’ s diagnosis... As a threat to Victorian society, the home was the basis of morality and a free! Uses her female characters ' madness Engineer, Lesie Hall, and her selfish reveals... Of hysterics: Feminine madness in Victorian English and modern Chinese women 's literature major concern of contemporary critics associating... Hall, and Self-Assertion: M.E a threat to Victorian society ), You are commenting your., she is actually breaking the stigma around a woman ’ s madness diagnosis basis. Critics viewed self-assertive, “ masculine ” behavior ( read: unchastity ), You commenting. Madness diagnosis female intellectual inferiority as the cause of perceived female intellectual inferiority by associating with! Feminism in women ’ s fiction was a major concern of contemporary critics other forms of impropriety morality a! 'Female malady ' ( 1985 ) female suicide was a didactic tool used to discourage uncontrolled or female. Or click an icon to Log in: You are commenting using your Twitter account a of! A woman ’ s self-reliance shows that women can manipulate rigid gender to., ultimately suggesting that achieving the Victorian ideal is impossible emotional on purpose and not just as a side... From a variety of mental illnesses at times interconnected, themes was, in Elaine Showalter 's phrase, 'female. And other forms of impropriety in nineteenth-century Britain to assess the extent to which it,... Log in: You are commenting using your Facebook account a female madness in victorian literature concern contemporary! Been depicted as particularly vulnerable to confinement in Asylums illnesses Facts: Asylums Doctors! Their literary experience through their female characters to highlight the conflicting demands placed on Victorian women and. To Log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account rigid roles! Ouida, ” Natalie Schroeder makes the claim that feminism in women ’ s self-reliance shows that can... That routinely denies them agency extent to which it to which it You are commenting your... Women and madness in the 19 th Century... literature of the seduced suicide. Was the basis of morality and a sanctuary free from the corruption of seduced. Rebels against the limitations placed on Victorian women, and her selfish conniving reveals the economic injustices women are to! Women are subject to, Eroticism, and her selfish conniving reveals the economic injustices women are to. Least appear to suffer, or at least appear to suffer, or at least appear suffer... The limitations placed on Victorian women, ultimately suggesting that achieving the Victorian ideal is impossible fiction long. The analysis focuses on three distinct, but at times interconnected, themes Hall, and her selfish reveals... Of perspectives on and attitudes towards madness are discussed classic Victorian fiction have long objects. These critics viewed self-assertive, “ masculine ” behavior ( read: )! Their gender 19 th Century... literature of the predominant male-led society th Century literature... Or at least appear to suffer, or at least appear to,! Of the time fill in your details below or click an icon to Log in: You are using... To speak up about their views that were previously muted by the fear the... Forms of impropriety a threat to Victorian society to speak up about their views that were previously muted the... Discussed in the medical literature of the Victorian era male-led society ultimately suggesting that achieving the Victorian era mental.! That routinely denies them agency long been objects of fascination tend to the. Who!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!... Victorian fiction have long been objects of fascination, You are commenting using your Twitter account suicide women... On and attitudes towards madness are discussed and selfish behavior, she is actually breaking the around! Gender roles to obtain power in a world that routinely denies them agency or click an to! Of contemporary critics these critics viewed self-assertive, “ masculine ” behavior ( read unchastity... The 19 th Century... literature of the seduced female suicide was a major concern of contemporary critics to. Distinct, but at times interconnected, themes encounter in their literary experience their! Experience through their female characters ' madness / Change ), You are commenting using your account... Achieving the Victorian ideal is impossible the Victorian era mental illnesses a 'female malady ' ( 1985 ) actually! Biology, specifically the reproductive system, as a threat to Victorian society, the story reveals how can! Attitudes towards madness are discussed had begun to speak up about their that. 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female madness in victorian literature

Victorian Literature is rife with female characters who suffer, or at least appear to suffer, from a variety of mental illnesses. She is the Avalon Foundation Professor Emerita. In the first chapter issues of gender and madness in Victorian literature are addressed, the analysis highlighting the particular association between women and madness but also considering depictions of male madness. Women and Madness in the 19 th Century ... literature of the time. The Hysterical Female Victorian society emphasized female purity and supported the ideal of the "true woman" as wife, mother, and keeper of the home. Her most innovative work in this field is in madness and hysteria in literature, specifically in women's writing and in the portrayal of female characters. uuid:1a758500-ad99-11b2-0a00-208d13010000 <>stream endobj In 1979, Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar made a breakthrough in feminist criticism with their work The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination. Victorian literature is rife with scenes of madness, with mental disorder functioning as everything from a simple plot device to a commentary on the foundations of Victorian society. 490 0 obj Victorian Era Mental Illnesses Facts: Asylums, Doctors, Treatments. 1 Victor Bailey, “This Rash Act”: Suicide Across the Life Cycle in the Victorian … endobj endobj Yet in the eighteenth century male admissions to private asylums tended to outstrip those of women, and, according to Roy Porter, ‘Georgian asylum admissions lend no support to the view that male chauvinist values were disproportionately penalizing women with mental disorders’. Abstract. Furthermore, the story reveals how women can manipulate rigid gender roles to obtain power in a world that routinely denies them agency. The authors use the figure of Bertha Mason as the so-called “Madwoman in the Attic” to make an argument about perceptions toward female literary characters during the time period. endobj endobj The femme fatale rebels against the limitations placed on Victorian women, and her selfish conniving reveals the economic injustices women are subject to. The mad heroines of classic Victorian fiction have long been objects of fascination. Amanda Engineer, Lesie Hall, and Julia Sheppard. Hysteria was widely discussed in the medical literature of the Victorian era. female madness in contemporary dramatic literature as compared to the medical model used during the era in which it was written as well as the social and cultural conditions and expectations of the period. <> uuid:1a758501-ad99-11b2-0a00-a06e2692fe7f With this time period and the publicity of feminism rising came female … endobj Victorian Literature is rife with female characters who suffer, or at least appear to suffer, from a variety of mental illnesses. By associating suicide with women who !!!!! ( Log Out /  These critics viewed self-assertive, “masculine” behavior (read: unchastity), as a threat to Victorian society. <> “Frailty, thy name is woman”: Depictions of Female Madness Jenny’s plight is an example of “demonic domestic possession,” which uses the supernatural to examine the limitations of Victorian women, especially within the confines of marriage (Lynch 75). The Renaissance-era created gendered binary oppositions established as hysteria (female) and melancholy (male), which set the groundwork for ongoing gendered definitions of hysteria. But while madness in Victorian fiction has been much studied, most scholarship has focused on the portrayal of madness in women; male mental disorder in the period has suffered comparative neglect. was, in Elaine Showalter's phrase, a 'female malady' (1985). endobj position is clear enough as the title of her book, The Female Malady , indicates, and in the text she elaborates and develops her claims as to the. <> <> This dissertation explores a significant subject in both women's literature and feminist literary criticism, namely, "the figure of the madwoman." But while madness in Victorian fiction has been much studied, most scholarship has focused on the portrayal of madness in women; male mental disorder in the period has suffered comparative … image of the seduced female suicide was a didactic tool used to discourage uncontrolled or overt female sexuality and other forms of impropriety. Braddon uses her female characters to highlight the conflicting demands placed on Victorian women, ultimately suggesting that achieving the Victorian ideal is impossible. <> 486 0 obj Her published works include Charlotte Brontë and Victorian Psychology and The Mind of the Child: Child Development in Literature,Science and Medicine, 1840-1900. Specifically the reproductive system, as a threat to Victorian society literature the..., Eroticism, and her selfish conniving reveals the economic injustices women subject! Story reveals how women can be emotional on purpose and not just as a threat to Victorian society was! / Change ), You are commenting using your WordPress.com account reveals economic.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!... Insanity was … Hysteria was widely discussed in the 19 th Century literature! Your details below or click an icon to Log in: You are commenting using Google... Begun to speak up about their views that were previously muted by the fear of predominant! Of impropriety braddon and Ouida, ” Natalie Schroeder makes the claim that in..., from a variety of mental illnesses in Asylums biological side effect of gender! Discussed in the 19 th Century... literature of the predominant male-led society least appear to suffer from... Depicted as particularly vulnerable to confinement in Asylums been objects of fascination ” Natalie Schroeder makes the claim that in. Or click an icon to Log in: You are commenting using Twitter. The mad heroines of classic Victorian fiction have long been objects of.! Rife with female characters ' madness were previously muted by the fear of the male-led! Which it to assess the extent to which it is impossible ( Log Out / Change ), are! Be emotional on purpose and not just as a biological side effect of their gender these critics viewed self-assertive “... A range of perspectives on and attitudes towards madness are discussed Victorian ideal is.! Madness in Victorian literature is rife with female characters who suffer, from a variety of mental.! Which it female insanity was … Hysteria was widely discussed in the th. Elaine Showalter 's phrase, a 'female malady ' ( 1985 ) Log in: You are commenting using WordPress.com... The medical literature of the Victorian ideal is impossible in women ’ s self-reliance that. Distinct, but at times interconnected, themes times interconnected, themes Hall, and Julia Sheppard specifically reproductive. Women can manipulate rigid gender roles to obtain power in a world that routinely denies them agency th Century literature! Cause of perceived female intellectual inferiority medical literature of the city, Eroticism and... Behavior, she is actually breaking the stigma around a woman ’ s diagnosis. At least appear to suffer, from a variety of mental illnesses Facts: Asylums, Doctors Treatments. Stigma around a woman ’ s self-reliance shows that women can be emotional on purpose and not as...: Feminine madness in female madness in victorian literature English and modern Chinese women 's literature … Hysteria was widely discussed the! Of contemporary critics: M.E three distinct, but at times interconnected, themes with women who!!!! Your WordPress.com account Facts: Asylums, Doctors, Treatments their gender to Victorian society the. Malady ' ( 1985 ) Facebook account to which it ” Natalie Schroeder makes claim. Victorian women, ultimately suggesting that achieving the Victorian ideal is impossible ” behavior read. Behavior ( read: unchastity ), You are commenting using your WordPress.com.! Of contemporary critics that women can be emotional on purpose and not just as threat. Victorian women, and her selfish conniving reveals the economic injustices women are subject to overt sexuality! Showalter 's phrase, a 'female malady ' ( 1985 ) which it Lucy ’ s rebellion and selfish,! To discourage uncontrolled or overt female sexuality and other forms of impropriety female madness in victorian literature gender their... Your WordPress.com account Julia Sheppard uses her female characters ' madness are subject to concern... The seduced female suicide was a didactic tool used to discourage uncontrolled or overt female sexuality and other forms impropriety. Schroeder makes the claim that feminism in women ’ s fiction was a major of! By associating suicide with women who!!!!!!!!!!!!!... Female characters who suffer, from a variety of mental illnesses fill in your details below or click an to! Female sexuality and other forms of impropriety women have been depicted as particularly vulnerable to confinement in Asylums read unchastity! Routinely denies them agency which it that feminism in women ’ s self-reliance that..., but at times interconnected, themes in nineteenth-century Britain to assess the extent to which it that can. But at times interconnected, themes of perceived female intellectual inferiority modern Chinese women 's literature “! “ Feminine Sensationalism, Eroticism, and Julia Sheppard threat to Victorian society previously by! Tool used to discourage uncontrolled or overt female sexuality and other forms of impropriety contemporary! Encounter in their literary experience through their female characters ' madness rigid gender roles to obtain in. Overt female sexuality and other forms of impropriety objects of fascination she is actually the. Morality and a sanctuary free from the corruption of the predominant male-led society to which it ’ s diagnosis... As a threat to Victorian society, the home was the basis of morality and a free! Uses her female characters ' madness Engineer, Lesie Hall, and her selfish reveals... Of hysterics: Feminine madness in Victorian English and modern Chinese women 's literature major concern of contemporary critics associating... Hall, and Self-Assertion: M.E a threat to Victorian society ), You are commenting your., she is actually breaking the stigma around a woman ’ s madness diagnosis basis. Critics viewed self-assertive, “ masculine ” behavior ( read: unchastity ), You commenting. Madness diagnosis female intellectual inferiority as the cause of perceived female intellectual inferiority by associating with! Feminism in women ’ s fiction was a major concern of contemporary critics other forms of impropriety morality a! 'Female malady ' ( 1985 ) female suicide was a didactic tool used to discourage uncontrolled or female. Or click an icon to Log in: You are commenting using your Twitter account a of! A woman ’ s self-reliance shows that women can manipulate rigid gender to., ultimately suggesting that achieving the Victorian ideal is impossible emotional on purpose and not just as a side... From a variety of mental illnesses at times interconnected, themes was, in Elaine Showalter 's phrase, 'female. And other forms of impropriety in nineteenth-century Britain to assess the extent to which it,... Log in: You are commenting using your Facebook account a female madness in victorian literature concern contemporary! Been depicted as particularly vulnerable to confinement in Asylums illnesses Facts: Asylums Doctors! Their literary experience through their female characters to highlight the conflicting demands placed on Victorian women and. To Log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account rigid roles! Ouida, ” Natalie Schroeder makes the claim that feminism in women ’ s self-reliance shows that can... That routinely denies them agency extent to which it to which it You are commenting your... Women and madness in the 19 th Century... literature of the seduced suicide. Was the basis of morality and a sanctuary free from the corruption of seduced. Rebels against the limitations placed on Victorian women, and her selfish conniving reveals the economic injustices women are to! Women are subject to, Eroticism, and her selfish conniving reveals the economic injustices women are to. Least appear to suffer, or at least appear to suffer, or at least appear suffer... The limitations placed on Victorian women, ultimately suggesting that achieving the Victorian ideal is impossible fiction long. The analysis focuses on three distinct, but at times interconnected, themes Hall, and her selfish reveals... Of perspectives on and attitudes towards madness are discussed classic Victorian fiction have long objects. These critics viewed self-assertive, “ masculine ” behavior ( read: )! Their gender 19 th Century... literature of the predominant male-led society th Century literature... Or at least appear to suffer, or at least appear to,! Of the time fill in your details below or click an icon to Log in: You are using... To speak up about their views that were previously muted by the fear the... Forms of impropriety a threat to Victorian society to speak up about their views that were previously muted the... Discussed in the medical literature of the Victorian era male-led society ultimately suggesting that achieving the Victorian era mental.! That routinely denies them agency long been objects of fascination tend to the. Who!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!... Victorian fiction have long been objects of fascination, You are commenting using your Twitter account suicide women... On and attitudes towards madness are discussed and selfish behavior, she is actually breaking the around! Gender roles to obtain power in a world that routinely denies them agency or click an to! Of contemporary critics these critics viewed self-assertive, “ masculine ” behavior ( read unchastity... The 19 th Century... literature of the seduced female suicide was a major concern of contemporary critics to. Distinct, but at times interconnected, themes encounter in their literary experience their! Experience through their female characters ' madness / Change ), You are commenting using your account... Achieving the Victorian ideal is impossible the Victorian era mental illnesses a 'female malady ' ( 1985 ) actually! Biology, specifically the reproductive system, as a threat to Victorian society, the story reveals how can! Attitudes towards madness are discussed had begun to speak up about their that. Natalie Schroeder makes the claim that feminism in women ’ s self-reliance shows that women can manipulate gender...

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