Presenter(s) Name

Caitlin McMahonFollow

Presenter Bio

I am a first year graduate student on the English Literature track at The College at Brockport. I finished my first semester with a 3.89 cumulative GPA. I have been accepted to Oxford to study in the fall of 2017 as well as looking forward to being inducted into the Sigma Tau Delta International Honor Society for English in mid-April.. I graduated from The College at Brockport in December of 2014 with a BS in English Literature with a Concentration in Creative Writing. My primary focus of study is British Gothic Literature, Chaucer, and Folktales from various regions. My future plans include studying for my Doctorate hopefully at the University of Rochester and then teaching at the college level. I also have an interest in editing for a publishing house and perhaps even doing some writing of my own. I have many ambitions and narrowing them down is quite the feat. I am passionate about the written word in all of it’s many forms and would be honored to present my writing.

Presentation Type

Oral presentation-Paper

Session Title

Literature Presentations I

Abstract

The nineteenth century in the United States was a time that saw a resurgence of beliefs that would keep the modern family together. The Angel in the House is a phrase that is used to describe the type of woman that was worshipped in a cult-like fashion during this time, a domestic goddess of sorts. They were to be the paradigm of chastity; well-versed in the cleanliness and culinary arts. They were uncorrupted forces in a corrupting world. This article seeks to dismantle this patriarchal driven ideal and prove, through examples taken from Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women as well as other scholarly sources, that this ideal is not only outdated at the time but is dangerous for the women who find themselves chained to the domestic sphere. By positing Jo and Beth next to each other the problems with the Angel in the House, Beth, are starkly highlighted against the free-spirited nature of Jo. While some argue that Beth’s early death serves to immortalize her innocence, it instead prevents her from maturing and eventually falling short of the ideal. There is much more for women than the domestic sphere and that is what this article intends to prove.

Start Date

29-4-2017 9:30 AM

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Apr 29th, 9:30 AM

The Truth of the Angel in the House

The nineteenth century in the United States was a time that saw a resurgence of beliefs that would keep the modern family together. The Angel in the House is a phrase that is used to describe the type of woman that was worshipped in a cult-like fashion during this time, a domestic goddess of sorts. They were to be the paradigm of chastity; well-versed in the cleanliness and culinary arts. They were uncorrupted forces in a corrupting world. This article seeks to dismantle this patriarchal driven ideal and prove, through examples taken from Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women as well as other scholarly sources, that this ideal is not only outdated at the time but is dangerous for the women who find themselves chained to the domestic sphere. By positing Jo and Beth next to each other the problems with the Angel in the House, Beth, are starkly highlighted against the free-spirited nature of Jo. While some argue that Beth’s early death serves to immortalize her innocence, it instead prevents her from maturing and eventually falling short of the ideal. There is much more for women than the domestic sphere and that is what this article intends to prove.