Award Date

5-15-2018

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Committee Member

Beth Rosenberg

Second Committee Member

Maile Chapman

Third Committee Member

Megan Becker-Leckrone

Fourth Committee Member

Susanna Newbury

Number of Pages

91

Abstract

Using the theoretical framework of Geocriticism, Psychogeography, and the literary concepts of the flâneur and flâneuse, I argue that Virginia Woolf’s female walkers have a unique aesthetic experience from the male walker of literature. Although this experience differs because of the strictures on Victorian and Modernist women in cities like London and Paris, I rely on the framework of both literary walkers to refute scholars who question the existence of the flâneuse. Through works like Mrs. Dalloway, The Voyage Out, “Street Haunting,” “Kew Gardens,” “Literary Geography,” and A Room of One’s Own, I contend through a mix of traditional scholarship and creative nonfiction prose techniques that Woolf’s female walkers make a sizable imprint on our modern ideas of women walkers that not only participate in Baudelaire’s idea of the flâneur but challenge it by suggesting that the flâneuse does not ignore the crowd, but rather engages with individual people. She does not have to walk alone to be a flâneuse but must rather challenge assumptions by continuing in her belief that the city is worth celebrating through walking its landscapes.

Keywords

flaneur; flaneuse; geocriticism; Mrs. Dalloway; psychogeography; Virginia Woolf

Disciplines

Arts and Humanities | English Language and Literature

Language

English

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