A Foucauldian Discourse Analysis of Gender Role Expectations in George Gissing’s the Odd Women
Keywords:Gissing; Foucault; discourse; ideology; Victorian novel; 19th Century; discursive practice
AbstractGeorge Gissing’s The Odd Women is an engrossing study of gender role expectations in the Victorian society on the cusp of the twentieth century. It is an examination of Nineteenth century discourses on Victorian gender ideology. The novel charts and explores the life trajectories of the female protagonists within the novel. This research paper has attempted to explicate the dynamics of gender role expectations through the application of a modern theoretical framework of Foucauldian Discourse Analysis to assess how the discourses of the period inform Gissing’s narrative. The research findings suggest that the perceptions of gender in a period are directly proportionate to the norms championed through the dominant discourses. The discourses are intricately woven within the episteme of the period under analysis and a conscious review of the constitutive elements of these discursive practices reveals possibilities of change for the future through arming research investigators with insights that account for gender construction in a given period.
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