Paradise Ablaze: Cavendish's Feminist Utopias and the Deconstruction of Gender Hierarchy Restricted; Files Only

Moonflower, Nandi (2012)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/zg64tm96s?locale=en
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Abstract

Abstract
Paradise Ablaze:
Cavendish's Feminist Utopias and the Deconstruction of Gender Hierarchy
This study sets out to explore how early modern author Margaret Cavendish used her writings
to offer a bold feminist statement that reconfigured seventeenth-century notions of gender. I
base my argument on three primary texts: Bel in Campo (1662), The Convent of Pleasure
(1668), and The Description of a New World cal ed the Blazing New World (1666). I argue that
Cavendish uses "gender blending" to fashion a feminist statement that deconstructs her era's
gender binary and its associated gendered hierarchy. Through this deconstruction, she uses her
works as gender transgressive spaces that enable women to enter the public sphere.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


List of Abbreviations: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1


Introduction: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2


Chapter 1: Material Girls: Materiality as Female Empowerment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16


Chapter 2: Effeminate Adam, Virtuous Eve? Rethinking Gender Roles in the Fall. . . 29


Chapter 3: Public Struggles & Private Spheres: Obtaining Power in Paradise. . . . . . 42


Chapter 4: Beyond the Bounds of Paradise: Transcending Gender Hierarchy
From the Inside . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .54

Works Cited: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .64

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