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A language of signs : obtaining power in Elizabeth Inchbald's A simple story

UNCW Author/Contributor (non-UNCW co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Gena B. Walker (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW )
Web Site: http://library.uncw.edu/
Advisor
Katherine Montwieler

Abstract: Elizabeth Inchbald’s A Simple Story (1791) is a groundbreaking novel that makes a complicated argument concerning feminine power and the possibility of undermining masculine authority. Inchbald, a trained dramatist and actress, uses her knowledge of theatrical gesture to demonstrate how eighteenth-century women could obtain a significant level of power by using their bodies as communicative instruments. The female characters in the novel forge an authentic feminine language for themselves through the performance of emotion and force their male counterparts to communicate with them in a discourse the women control. By impelling the male characters to use their system of language, the female characters forward their own desires and obtain a significant level of power and autonomy, thus, usurping the patriarchal system to a notable extent.

Additional Information

Publication
Thesis
A Thesis Submitted to the University of North Carolina Wilmington in Partial Fulfillment Of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of English
Language: English
Date: 2009
Keywords
Inchbald Mrs. 1753-1821 A simple story -- Criticism and interpretation
Subjects
Inchbald, Mrs., 1753-1821. A simple story -- Criticism and interpretation