Term of Award

Spring 2012

Degree Name

Master of Arts in English (M.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Department

Department of Literature and Philosophy

Committee Chair

Olivia Carr Edenfield

Committee Member 1

Richard Flynn

Committee Member 2

Jane Eblen Keller

Abstract

Elizabeth Madox Roberts, once considered one of the most important authors of the early twentieth century, has suffered critical neglect since her death in 1941. Though Robert Penn Warren wrote an important essay calling for her recovery in 1963, the political and social environment of the 1960s, including the advent of second-wave feminism, contributed, in part, to the continued neglect of Roberts's work. Roberts's texts do not actively protest social or economic injustice; instead, they focus on the internalized lives of her protagonists. This internalization is seen in Roberts's complex portrayal of the home and domesticity. This paper analyzes the ways in which the home in Roberts's novels functions as a space for a woman's internalizations, and also explores how Roberts's representations of the home and domesticity did not fit the political or social agendas of the 1960s and 70s when Robert Penn Warren called for renewed interest in her work.

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