The Representation of Gender Politics in Victorian Fairy Tales by Women Writers

Kovacs, Evelyn
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The literary fairy tale established itself as an independent genre in England only in the nineteenth century. Victorian fairy tales often express, the writers’ dissatisfaction with their life and with society. In this thesis, I analyse literary fairy tales by three Victorian women writers, Mary de Morgan, Jean Ingelow, and Edith Nesbit, from the perspective of gender politics. These literary fairy tales, on the one hand, resemble the classical fairy tales in their themes and characters; on the other hand, they also differ from classical fairy tales due to the innovative ways the authors used and modified motifs to criticize contemporary social injustices. The tales analysed in this paper are very different in terms of their gender politics and strategies. Nevertheless it is a common element that all three writers create strong female protagonists and more or less are mocking the society’s expectations of women.
Victorian, fairy tales, gender roles