Seductive Suffering: Constrained Freedom in Diderot's La Religieuse Open Access

Lackert, Sarah Ellen (2012)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/m039k509m?locale=en
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Abstract

Abstract
Seductive Suffering: Constrained Freedom in Diderot's La Religieuse
During a shift of philosophical ideals from the Age of Faith to the Age of
Reason, Diderot's La Religieuse emerged as a shocking and powerful novel revealing
the corruption of religious institutions. The main character and narrator, Suzanne
Simonin, is committed against her will to a convent in order to expiate her mother's
sins. Suzanne's tragic memoire recounting her relentless attempt to proclaim her
innocence and fight for her freedom reveals the fanatical and hypocritical aspects of
religious life. Through Suzanne's intimate descriptions of treatment in the convent,
the reader bears witness to both the sacrifice of her freedom and also her resilience.

Table of Contents




Table Of Contents

Introduction
1

The Fanatical and Hypocritical Constructs of the Convent
5

The Involuntary Sacrifice of Femininity
15

Sexualized Madness
25

Exploring Homosexuality in the Religious Community
35

Conclusion
44









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