Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts (BA)
College of Humanities and Fine Arts
In 19th century France, women appeared to be second class citizens. They were often limited in their abilities to have independence and secure their own wealth. This perception of women perhaps justifies why, as Honoré de Balzac’s novels illustrated the realities of French society, he attempted to characterize women’s struggles to obtain control and power in their lives. In his novels The Wild Ass’s Skin (1831), The Lily of the Valley (1835), and Le Père Goriot (1835), Balzac sought to prove how women could improve their lot.
Firstly, in studying how women had been relegated to second-class citizens under their father’s leadership, this thesis endeavored to show how women’s status was inferior to that of men. Secondly, the paper studied how the novels sought to portray the women's ability to secure mobility when faced with such inferior status. Finally, examining how women built and controlled their salons, this report looked at the place of the women's salons as a way to develop and perfect their image.
Musmeci, Brooke V., "Honoré de Balzac’s portrayal of the feminine condition in The Wild Ass’s Skin, Père Goriot, and The Lily of the Valley" (2020). Honors Theses. 379.
Children's and Young Adult Literature Commons, European History Commons, European Languages and Societies Commons, French and Francophone Literature Commons, Women's History Commons, Women's Studies Commons