Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in English and University Honors

Department

English

First Advisor

Sarah Ensor

Subjects

Elizabeth Stuart Phelps (1844-1911). Silent partner -- Criticism and interpretation, Social classes in literature, American fiction -- 19th century -- History and criticism

DOI

10.15760/honors.442

Abstract

This thesis is an analysis of the ways in which Elizabeth Stuart Phelps’s 1871 novel, The Silent Partner, uses its status as a literary text to challenge the social and political status quo and to implicate the reader in an interrogation of gender and class norms. The paper argues against critics who have taken the novel’s ending as proof of its political conservatism or its literary failures, proposing instead that the text’s lack of satisfactory resolution allows for the suggestion of radical possibilities and contributes to its value as a work of political literature.

Persistent Identifier

http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/20447

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