Den paradoxala kvinnan. En studie av Victoria Benedictssons och Mathilda Mallings kvinnoporträtt under 1880-talets sedlighetsdebatt

Detta är en Magister-uppsats från Högskolan i Borås/Institutionen Biblioteks- och informationsvetenskap / Bibliotekshögskolan; Högskolan i Borås/Institutionen Biblioteks- och informationsvetenskap / Bibliotekshögskolan

Sammanfattning: The aim of this master thesis is to examine how female identity is formed in two novels and two short stories from the 1880’s. As a framework we rely on the method outlined by Pierre Bourdieu when he approaches the cultural and social worlds through the concept of fields. To understand the female position during that time we use Michel Foucault’s work about the history of sex, Thomas Laqueur’s theories about the rise of sexes and Karin Johannisson’s study about the exploration of the dark continent (i.e. women) during the 19th century. The concept of gender and identity is based on theories by Judith Butler and Ervin Goffman who describes them as processes rather than entities “doings” rather than “beings”. Our main question is to find out how female identities are formed in four literary works from the 1880’s. To approach our material we use ideal analysis and ideal types developed on the basis of Efrat Tseëlon’s studies about five paradoxes that circumscribe the concept “woman” through history. The objects of investigation are the novels Fru Marianne and Berta Funcke and the short stories Ur mörkret and Pyrrhussegrar written by Victoria Benedictsson and Mathilda Malling. Our conclusions reveals that the female identities in the works observed by us is formed under strong impact of several paradoxes that surrounds the conception of “woman” and we can see the protagonists struggle against those conceptions trying to find a possible way of existence.

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