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World War I and Southern Modernism$
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David A. Davis

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781496815415

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496815415.001.0001

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Domestic Disruption

Domestic Disruption

World War I, Modernity, and Southern Women’s Fiction

(p.117) 4 Domestic Disruption
World War I and Southern Modernism
David A. Davis
University Press of Mississippi

The tension between gender determinism and feminism increased after World War I, and works by black and white southern women writers set during the war often portray women characters as alternately challenging the patriarchal order and defending it as they attempt to negotiate the disruptions of modernity. This chapter explains how the war disrupted established gender roles in the South, analyses how African American Women writers wavered between Victorian propriety and impulses toward social transgression, traces the expansion and contraction of women’s agency in novels by Ellen Glasgow and Elizabeth Madox Roberts, and describes the new southern women trope that emerged after the war in novels by Frances Newman and Zelda Fitzgerald. Southern gender roles are a social fiction, and modernist southern women’s fiction rewrites the gender roles.

Keywords:   Feminism, Patriarchy, New Woman, Ellen Glasgow, Zelda Fitzgerald

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