Fantomina: the Manipulator of Situations

Topics: Gender role, Woman, Gender Pages: 4 (1516 words) Published: December 6, 2012
Fantomina: The manipulator of situations

Fantomina is a novella describing how a young woman Fantomina goes about trying to seduce Beauplaisir.Fantomina details the events of how a young woman curiosity leads her into “faked prostitution” and ultimately falling in love with Beauplaisir.The novella chronicles how the young woman does whatever she can through disguising her identity to be always with the one she has fallen in with, Beauplaisir.The story ends when Fantomina gets pregnant and is sent to a monastery in France. Haywood’s Fantomina represents an important moment in the evolution of gender constructions in the eighteenth century.This research essay is from short story Fantomina.Eliza Haywood Fantomina perceives that gender categories can easily be changed by showing that nothing is ever fixed.You have the power to manipulate any situation you are faced with.

There are many instances where the reversal of gender categories is highlited. On page 1458,Haywood says ‘She was young,a stranger to the world and,consequently,to the dangers of it, and having nobody in town at the time to whom she was obliged to be accountable for her actions,did in everything as her inclinations or homours rendered most agreeable to her”(Fantomina 1458).This quote is when Fantomina was contemplating to fake prostitution after she had seen how much attention other women were getting from men at the play. The passage explains how Fantomina chose to ignore society’s norms or standards. Whilst women were supposed to be naïve of the dangers of some behaviour, Fantomina did not follow the way which society had deemed as necessary mainly because she was still young. Women were supposed to be accountable for their action is it to their mothers or husbands; Fantomina goes out of her way to show that women can have the power to change anything if they really want to do something. In this instance Fantomina goes against her values as a virtuous woman to please her fantasies further...
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