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Title:Fashion, Class, and Labor: Clothing in American Women's Fiction, 1840-1913
Author(s):Cavanaugh, Cheryl Lynn
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Baym, Nina
Department / Program:English
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Women's Studies
Abstract:Female factory operatives in the Lowell, Massachusetts, textile mills wrote and published The Lowell Offering in order to assert their own respectability. They define the operative in contrast to the fashionable "lady do-nothing" and reinforce the connection between dress and the labor that goes into producing it. In The Deserted Wife and Britomarte, the Man-Hater Southworth's attention to clothing highlights her central concern with women's economic dependence on men and the ways industrialism exploits women's labor. In her fiction, clothing brings the reader back to the material conditions of women's lives as they conflict with idealized representations. In The Minister's Wooing, My Wife and I, and We and Our Neighbors Stowe's characters are well dressed, but always in a way which emphasizes their productivity and contribution to society rather than any desire to compete in fashionable society. Wharton's treatment of clothing in The House of Mirth and The Custom of the Country indicates her shared concerns with the women writers of the nineteenth century.
Issue Date:1998
Description:264 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1998.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9834659
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:1998

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