Femme Fatale in Victorian Literature

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TARNÓW STATE COLLEGE

INSTITUTE OF HUMANITIES

DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH

Mateusz BILIŃSKI

PORTRAIT OF FEMME FATALE IN VICTORIAN LITERATURE

Project presented in part fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Licentiate in Tarnów State College, written under the supervision of dr Dominika Ruszkiewicz

TARNÓW 2013

CONTENTS
Page INTRODUCTION
CHAPTER ONE: FEMME FATALE AND VICTORIAN SOCIETY ........................................3

1 English Victorian Society ……………………………….…………….……….….………………. 3
Victorian Morality
2 Femme Fatale definition …………………………………………………………………………3
3 William Makepeace Thackeray – Vanity Fair ……………………..……….….……………...….. 3
4 Charles Dickens – Great Expectations ………………..................................………………….…. 3

CHAPTER TWO: REBECCA SHARP ........................................................................................3

2 Rebecca’s family social status……………………….…………….………….….………………. 3
2 Appearance………………………………………………………………….….……………...….. 3
4 Rebecca’s manipulative abilities ………………...................................……………………….…. 3
5 Pursuit for wealth, fame and social status …………………………………………….................. 3
4 Motherhood ………………………………………………………………………………………. 3

CHAPTER THREE: ESTELLA HAVISHAM .................................................................................. 3

2 Pedigree ………………………………………………………………………………………..…. 3
2 Appearance……………………………………………………………………………………..…. 3
3 Growing up as an orphan ……………………………………………………………………...…..3 4 Real vs. illusive feelings ………………………………………….………………………………3
5 Common features and differences of both characters ……….………………….………………... 3

CONCLUSIONS ..............................................................................................................................37

REFERENCES ................................................................................................................................. 39

READING LIST ............................................................................................................................... 40

APPENDIX (optional) ………………………………………………………………………………41

INTRODUCTION

Victorian Era was the big step in the overall cultural development of England. Many, presently famous novels and poems came to light during this period. Mainly writers, who (in their style of writing) openly manifested their opposition to the strict moral law which was significant those days. Universal etiquette of behavior, wealth and the family name in the social hierarchy ladder were very important to be perceived as aristocracy. Class division within the society was clearly marked. The pattern of a female character in Victorian novel which gained popularity very fast that time was Femme Fatale pattern which is also known as deadly woman.

I have chosen such topic, because I am of opinion that femme fatale type of character is the most interesting of all female identity types. Furthermore, Victorian period is a time of a changing role of the women in the British society, which gives us very contrastive background, in which behavior of such woman was something immoral, controversial but also brave.

Charles Dickens is widely perceived as the greatest novelist of the Victorian Era. He is the creator of fictional characters, which are known all...
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