Added: June 2, 2018 – Last updated: June 2, 2018


Author: Kimberly Taylor

Title: Challenging the Gender Dichotomy in the Victorian Era

Subtitle: Reading Hemingway's Up in Michigan and Mansfield's Frau Brechenmacher Together

Journal: Inquiries Journal

Volume: 10

Issue: 3

Year: March 2018


eISSN: 2153-5760 – Find a Library: Open Access Journal


Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century | American History: U.S. History | Cases: Offenders / Herr Brechenmacher; Jim Gilmore; Cases: Victims / Frau Brechenmacher; Liz Coates; Offenders: Age and Gender / Male Adults, Representations: Literary Texts / Ernest Hemingway, Katherine Mansfield; Victims: Age and Gender / Female Adults


Link: Inquiries Journal (Free Access)


Abstract: »Sexual violence and coercion became hot topics in 2017, with endless headlines. However, these problems and issues are not new, nor are they confined to a single segment of society. Rather, they have longstanding roots within patriarchal society viewing the sexes as opposite ends of an oppositional dichotomy. This dichotomy is highlighted in two short stories, one by Hemingway and one by Katherine Mansfield. These stories contextualize sexual violence and coercion within Victorian era patriarchal societies revealing the perceived and taught active male/passive female dichotomy such societies were founded upon. This paper analyzes not only how the texts reveal this dichotomy, but also challenge it, through close comparative reading. The expected roles of men and women within the dichotomy are defined, and then challenged. The role of others in teaching the limits of those roles is also explored, culminating in the presentation of the ultimate coercive weapon in such a society: marriage as the only possible avenue open to women at that time. While our society has changed a great deal since the Victorian era, much of what this paper explores is still with us today, and contributes both to the occurrence of coercion and violence as well as the debates and narratives around them.« (Source: Inquiries Journal)

Wikipedia: History of the Americas: History of the United States | Literature: American literature, New Zealand literature; 20th-century American writers: Ernest Hemingway; 20th-century New Zealand writers: Katherine Mansfield; Rape in fiction: Up in Michigan