Date of Award

Summer 8-4-2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Degree Program

English

Department

English

Major Professor

Boyd-Rioux, Anne

Second Advisor

Malmgren, Carl

Third Advisor

Lackey, Kris

Abstract

This thesis argues that Isabel Archer of Henry James’s novel The Portrait of a Lady and Lily Bart of Edith Wharton’s novel The House of Mirth were nineteenth-century characters struggling to assert their social and sexual independence in a male dominated society. Although Isabel inherits a fortune that allegedly enables her to have more autonomy than Lily, both characters are negatively affected by their inability to conceive of their lives outside of social convention.

Rights

The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.

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