Litvak demonstrates that private experience in the novels of Austen, Charlotte Brontë, Eliot, and James is a rigorous enactment of a public script that constructs normative gender and class identities. He suggests that the theatricality which pervades these novels enforces social norms while introducing opportunities for novelists to resist them. This approach encourages a rethinking of the genre and its cultural contexts in all their instability and ambivalence.
Caught in the Act Theatricality in the Nineteenth-Century English Novel
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