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Title: Eighteenth-century masculinity and the construction of an ideal.
Author: Raven, Susan.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3509 2732
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2000
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The thesis covers the period roughly between 1688 and the 1780s and is concerned with the construction and perfonnance of heterosexual male identity and the emergence, during that period, of what would become a culturally dominant model of an ideal masculinity. It is a model which is adapted to the requirements of a capitalising economy and is therefore inextricably linked to the rise of the middle classes and the Puritan tradition which informs their ethical perspective. The introductory chapter gives reasons why I regard the novel as particularly relevant in looking at the dissemination of culturally determined notions of gender. Chapter One is concerned with contemporary anxieties about identity and the attempts to forge a middle-class male identity, which is 'authentic' and differentiated from that of the upper classes Changes in the way gender identity was percei ved are also traced and the novels of Tobias Smollett are discussed to illustrate the struggle towards the definition of an ideal masculinity. Chapter Two examines the genesis of 'sensibility' and how it was modified and adapted by the novelists of sensibility to create a benevolent man of virtue who was dissociated from any notion of 'softness' and femininity. Chapter Three looks at the models of masculinity presented by Samuel Richardson in Clarissa (1748) and Sir Charles Grandison (1753/4) and the author's concern to discover and present the ideal model of a bourgeois patriarch. Chapter Four discusses the perceptions and representations of masculinity by women writers, how they portrayed gender relationships and what kind of critique they offered of a construction of gender which rendered women as passive and men as active.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Gender; English novel