New Historicism in George Gissing’s The Odd Women

Zahid Habeeb Al-abbasi


The Odd Women is a novel written by the English novelist George Robert Gissing in 1883. Gissing as a novelist was interested in feminist movement. Indeed, he supported women in his novel and based on his experience of the society in the 19th century, he wrote this novel.  The novel illustrates how millions of women were considered as strange or odd because they were without pair or husband because they had to choose between their desires and their principles in life. Furthermore, Gissing attempts to portray to us the nature of women in relation to marriage and sexuality, and he depicts this through his characters in the novel.  The novel gives vivid images to several issues dominant in the nineteenth century, such as women suffering the humiliation of being elderly and unmarried in the Victorian period, sexual anarchy and sex oppression, and women challenging the most deeply held attitudes and ideologies of the culture. In this paper, I am studying George Gissing in order to explain how sexuality and marriage were regarded in the Victorian period.

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