Congratulations Athena Grantwell!!


Congratulations Athena Grantwell!!

Congratulations to Athena Grantwell for having successfully defended her MA thesis.

On April 13th, 2020, Athena defended her thesis, titled “Investigating Social Ideals at the Fin-de-Siècle: Challenging Victorian Values in Sarah Grand’s New Woman Trilogy.” The thesis, supervised by Dr. Patricia Rigg, explores how Sarah Grand’s trilogy, Ideala, The Heavenly Twins, and The Beth Book, challenges received standards and values at the turn of the twentieth century. Athena’s work demonstrates that these three novels depict the social anxiety about cultural change at the Fin de Siècle and that they also offer the beginning of change. She argues that the trilogy focuses on prevalent Victorian beliefs involving women, such as gender roles and marriage, and how these were enforced through legal constraints and social expectations. Grand’s novels, she claims, show the consequences of such beliefs for society, and more specifically for women, by revealing the dangers of syphilis and gender inequality. Athena’s thesis demonstrates how the trilogy gradually introduces progressive ideologies and develops characters to depict Grand’s New-Woman ideal and to put forward a vision for women in the new century.


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