Canadian Women Essay

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BETWEEN THE UNES: THE REPRESENTATION OF CANADIAN WOMEN IN ENGUSH-LANGUAGE NOVELS WRIITEN BV WOMEN IN THE 1930S

Ann Gossage Department of History McGiII University, Montreal March,1996

A Thesis submitted to the Facult) of Graduate Studies and Research ln partial fulfilment of the requiremern of the degree of Master of Arts

(c) copyright Ann Gossage, 1996



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National L,brary of Ganada ACqUISlt;onS and Blbllographlc seMCes Branch 395 Wellington Street Ottawa. Ontario
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The author has granted an irrevocable non-exclusive licence allowing the National Library of Canada to reproduce, loan, distribute or sell copies of hisjher thesis by any means and in any form or format, making this thesis available to interested persons.

L'auteur a accordé une licence irrévocable et non exclusive permettant à la Bibliothèque nationale du Canada de reproduire, prêter, distribuer ou vendre des copies de sa thèse de quelque manière et sous quelque forme que ce soit pour mettre des exemplaires de cette thèse à la disposition des personnes intéressées.

The author retains ownership of the copyright in hisjher thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without hisjher permission.

L'auteur conserve la propriété du droit d'auteur qui protège sa thèse. Ni la thèse ni des extraits substantiels de celle-ci ne doivent être imprimés ou autrement reproduits sans son autorisation.

ISBN 0-612-19896-0

Canada

Shortened Title: Between the lines: Women in Canadian novels of the 1930s



ABSTRACT This thesis examines the role of Canadian women as presented in English language novels of the 1930s written by women authors. Within the context of the Great Depression it focuses on issues that are central to women's daily lives such as work, love, marriage and motherhood. lt also isolates recurring themes in the nove!s and attempts to understand the authors' messages within their social context. Social reform. politics and ge!1der relationships are among the subjects explored.

RESUME Cette thèse examine le rôle des femmes canadiennes telles que représentées par les auteurs féminins des romans de langue anglaise des années 1930. Elle se concentre, dans le contexte de la grande dépression, sur les préoccupations qui sont qu centre la vie quotidienne des femmes: le travail, l'amour, le mariage et la maternité. On a isolé les thèmes qui reviennent fréquerrlll,oot dans les romans et essayé de comprendre les messages des auteurs en tenant compte du contexte social. La réforme sociale, la politique et les relations homme-femmes font partie des sujets explorés.

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ACKNOWlEDGEMENTS 1would like to thank the following people: Professor Andrée Lévesque for her guidance and forbearance; the inter-library loans staff whose services 1used to the point of abuse; Peter Gossage for his editorial suggestions on structure and style. and for "Between the Unes"; Mary Bleho for the abstraet translation: Joan Kearvell for her help with printing; Audrey Gossage. Mary Bleho and Helene Bleho for babysitting Michael 50 that 1 could work on this thesis: and Mike Bleho for his constant encouragement and support.





TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION APPROACH and METHODS CHAPTER 1: CANADIAN PUSLISHING IN THE 19305 REALISM RECEPnON CHAPTER Il: EMPLOYMENT AND THE DOMESnC IDEAL THE DEPRESSION SETIlNG WOMEN AND WORK

1 4 15 15 19 24 24 33

47 CHAPTER III: LOVE AND MARRIAGE LONG ENGAGEMENTS 47 'ADVANTAGES' OF MARRIAGE 49 "ILLEGITIMACY" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 SEXUALITY ST SELF-SACRIFICE 65 CHAPTER IV: MOTHERING SIRTH CONTROL CHILDSIRTH CHILDREARING WOMEN'S CULTURE? 73 73 77 83 88

CHAPTER V: WOMEN. SOCIETY AND POLITICS ...........•........ 94 SOCIAL REFORM 94...
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