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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10481/48862

Title: Orphans in Society: A Comparative Study of Gender Differences in Selected Works of Childrén's Literature (1876-1911)
Authors: Kheir Bek, Taymaa
Direction: Carretero González, Margarita
Collaborator: Universidad de Granada. Departamento de Filologías Inglesa y Alemana
Issue Date: 2017
Submitted Date: 30-Oct-2017
Abstract: The thesis examines different representations of literary orphans in a selection of books for children published between 1879 and 1911. The four chosen texts are Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), J. M. Barrie’s Peter and Wendy (1911), L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900), and Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden (1910). The study looks at significant gender differences in the process of the orphan’s adaptation to his/her social environment. It also shows how orphans turn their miseries into actions and how they serve their society when they are given the opportunity. The selected texts are going to be analysed according to a gender-based comparison and close reading of the journeys taken by their male and female heroes in order to prove themselves in society. There is a deep analysis of the character of the orphan taking into account three criteria: The orphan’s adaptation to the foster family and relationship with other characters (not members of the foster family), the orphan’s search for identity, and the orphan’s adaptation to the physical and cultural surrounding. These criteria are discussed according to three different approaches: ethics of care, social identity and the role of the setting. The results of this study will show whether there are significant gender differences in the way the orphan characters of the selected novels behave regarding their family, friends, their domestic environments, and in the way they forge their identity. Given the socio-historical context of the chosen novels, it is to be expected that orphan heroes should tend to be better care receivers than care givers, and rely on female characters to provide that care. It is also to be expected that they tend to be less emotional and better at exerting leadership than their female counterparts, while, concerning their relationship with “home”, one can expect that they are not ready to adapt unless they find the care and attention they need. In contrast to male orphans, we expect to find orphan heroines that excel at being care givers, even when they are in dire need of care themselves. At the same time, taking into account contemporary discourses concerning female education and position in the family, it should not be surprising if home was almost automatically connected with motherhood and domesticity.
Sponsorship: Tesis Univ. Granada. Programa Oficial de Doctorado en: Lenguas, Textos y Contextos
Publisher: Universidad de Granada
Keywords: Literatura
Personajes literarios
Análisis del discurso narrativo
Valores (Filosofía)
Siglo XIX
UDC: 82
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10481/48862
ISBN: 9788491637127
Rights : Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License
Citation: Kheir Bek, T. Orphans in Society: A Comparative Study of Gender Differences in Selected Works of Childrén's Literature (1876-1911). Granada: Universidad de Granada, 2017. [http://hdl.handle.net/10481/48862]
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