Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves: Deviants in Post-Revolutionary French and American Novels Open Access

Mayrhofer, Deborah Estelle (2011)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/sn009z07c?locale=en
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Abstract

Abstract
Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves:
Deviants in Post-Revolutionary French and American Novels
By Deborah Estelle Mayrhofer
After the French and American revolutions in the late eighteenth century, citizens of both
countries had to build an identity that rejected an established system of government-
monarchy-that had dominated for centuries. This dissertation traces the role of the novel
in the development of this new identity, in which the rejection of deviant figures would
play a critical role in fostering national unity. In this dissertation, I show that the figure of
the deviant in novels of the post-revolutionary period reveals an attempt to repress or
reform the sexual, racial, and anarchic bodies that threaten national and social unity. The
dissertation features readings of key late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth century French
and American novels. The first three chapters focus on the havoc wreaked on social and
family structures by transgressive sexual bodies in the Charlotte Temple, The Scarlet
Letter and Power of Sympathy in America, and Adolphe, Madame Bovary and René in
France. The final two chapters focus on the racial other as the deviant figure in The
Algerine Captive and Edgar Huntly, as well as La Fille aux yeux d'or and Atala.

Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Introduction………………………………………………………………….1
Moral Guardianship in Charlotte Temple and Adolphe……….....................12
The Family and the King in The Power of Sympathy and René………….…52
Moral Bankruptcy in Madame Bovary and The Scarlet Letter.………….….94
Racial Deviance in Edgar Huntly and The Algerine Captive........................150
Racial deviance in Atala and La Fille aux yeux d'or………………….........193
Conclusion………………………………………………………………......237



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