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Feminism In Fantomina Essay

  • Submitted by: CollinsWong
  • on November 6, 2010
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,079 words

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Below is an essay on "Feminism In Fantomina" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Contrary to its putatively gender-normalizing conclusion, Eliza Haywood’s Fantomina generates a narrative of sexual subversion and female authority. The repetitive occurrence of female protagonists inverting gender hegemonies from the prostitute to Fantomina’s mother to the convent, produces a ‘gynocratic’, or woman-centered novel. When juxtaposed alongside the nameless, beguiled admirers and the named, yet four-flushed BeauPlaisir, the narrative constructs a hierarchy of female over male, contradicting the possibility of its reinstating archetypal gender roles through its questionable inclusion of assault. While acknowledging seemingly anti-feminist sections, this essay will articulate how Haywood’s text empowers its atypical heroine through Haywood’s syntax and plot, her covert theme of naming and the conclusion itself. Despite her antithetical ideologies, Haywood remains centuries ahead while incorporating the very themes of contemporary pop culture: Woman Power.

The novel’s opening section establishes a socially inverted, female-oriented paradigm through the novel’s architecture, Fantomina’s authorial perspective and her gender-based assumptions. By deliberately situating Fantomina above the male aristocracy, through her box location, Haywood spatially partitions the PlayHouse a la the Panopticon where Fantomina serves as judging Syndic above the pit-seated male audience. Haywood’s syntax iteratively casts men as naïve tools subject to Fantomina’s scrutinizing eye. Fantomina articulates her ‘contempt’ of the men while labeling them as ‘depraved’ (227). By writing the narrative from her protagonist’s perspective, Haywood furthers the dichotomy of female as subject and male as object while infusing her discourse with chess-based imagery by making Fantomina a queen and the males her pawns.

The novel’s female authority continues through its inversion of sexual commodification. Considering Haywood’s Fantomina is ’accountable to no body’, the syntax...

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"Feminism In Fantomina". Anti Essays. 11 Dec. 2018


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Feminism In Fantomina. Anti Essays. Retrieved December 11, 2018, from the World Wide Web: http://snehaedu.com/free-essays/Feminism-In-Fantomina-62764.html