Formally Entangled: Plotting Economic and Romantic Desire in Victorian Narratives

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Formally Entangled: Plotting Economic and Romantic Desire in Victorian Narratives

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2020-04

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This dissertation considers how Victorian narratives use form to critique and reimagine the relationship between romantic and economic desire. Looking at narratives that explicitly avoid the traditional marriage plot trajectory, I argue that patterns of formal choices, like circularity and recursiveness, shape and reflect the thematic convergence of romantic and economic plots within each text. In this project, I stress form and content as a multidirectional relationship. By exploring the impact that form has on the intersection of romantic and economic desire in narratives with female protagonists, and vice versa, I propose an understanding of literary form that is both aesthetically and socioeconomically based. As I explore these kinds of formal tensions and shifts, I suggest that the texts ultimately propose alternative paths forward for Victorian narratives that feature female protagonists.

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University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. 2020. Major: English. Advisor: Andrew Elfenbein. 1 computer file (PDF); 155 pages.

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Merte , Melissa. (2020). Formally Entangled: Plotting Economic and Romantic Desire in Victorian Narratives. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/241438.

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