Gendered Narratives in Victorian Literature: Identity Formation in Empire-focused Children’s Literature




Borhan, Burcu

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This thesis discusses the emergence of a separate and gendered children’s literature in late nineteenth and early twentieth century Victorian era. The existence of different literatures written for boys and girls is discussed through the ways in which the imperial ideology of Britain shapes the construction of gender roles as part of the nation’s future imperial policy: while Victorian militant masculinity shapes the identity formation for boys, the Victorian appropriation of the Romantic construction of child and motherhood as the Victorian female ideal shapes the identity formation for girls. The restructuring of public schools, the role of educational reforms, and the ideological function of reading and its influence on the subjectivity of the reader constitute the other foundational elements of the argument.



Victorian Children’s Literature, Juvenile Literature, Construction of Gender, Identity-Formation, Masculinity, Femininity