By Katherine V. Snyder
Katherine Snyder's examine explores the importance of the bachelor narrator, a commonly used yet little famous determine in premodernist and modernist fiction via male authors, together with Hawthorne, James, Conrad, Ford, and Fitzgerald. Snyder demonstrates that bachelors functioned in cultural and literary discourse as threshold figures who, via crossing the transferring, permeable barriers of bourgeois domesticity, highlighted the bounds of traditional masculinity. via getting to the gendered identities and kinfolk at factor in those narratives, Snyder's learn discloses the classy and political underpinnings of the conventional canon of English and American modernism.
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Additional info for Bachelors, Manhood, and the Novel, 1850-1925
Other writers envisioned bachelors not as the source of domestic disorder, but as domestic reformers.
Both smaller families and families started later in life augmented anxieties about the future of domesticity. These demographic shifts and their attendant anxieties were particularly great for the middle and upper classes. ²⁰ Also fanning the flames of fear, changes in the legal and economic condition of married and single women of all classes heightened awareness of the multiple and sometimes conflicting definitions of marriage as a religious sacrament, a legal contract, and a private union. ’’²² The high cost of living, especially of married living, was commonly believed to be the chief cause of the feared deterioration of the bourgeois family.
With only the companionship of his books, ‘‘my dearest, my only associates,’’ and his landlady, whom he tolerates despite her prying and petty thievery, he describes himself as becoming ‘‘egotistic and lazy’’: ‘‘There was a selfish pleasure in the conviction that my case was so much better than that of thousands of the toilers and strugglers of the earth’’ (p. ). His satisfaction, however, is transformed into misery when he must endure such minor Bachelors, manhood, and the novel inconveniences as late meals and noise as his landlady prepares a Christmas holiday celebration for her friends and relations.
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