Bachelors, Manhood, and the Novel, 1850-1925 by Katherine V. Snyder

By Katherine V. Snyder

Katherine Snyder's learn explores the importance of the bachelor narrator, a favourite yet little well-known determine in premodernist and modernist fiction via male authors, together with Hawthorne, James, Conrad, Ford, and Fitzgerald. Snyder demonstrates that bachelors functioned in cultural and literary discourse as threshold figures who, by way of crossing the moving, permeable limitations of bourgeois domesticity, highlighted the bounds of traditional masculinity. via getting to the gendered identities and kinfolk at factor in those narratives, Snyder's learn discloses the cultured and political underpinnings of the normal canon of English and American modernism.

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Just as often, the unreasonable desire of bachelors for luxury before or instead of marriage bore the brunt of popular criticism. Thus an  article claims that ‘‘To marry . . ’’²⁶ The influence of the high cost of living on both the marriage rate and marriage age was magnified by the rise of the professions. Certain occupations were linked to prolonged bachelorhood, particularly those professions which required years of training and then a protracted period for establishing a practice.

Some contemporary trouble-shooters created their own typologies of bachelorhood as a way of managing the trouble with bachelors. There is little or no consistency in the ways these popular typologies were organized. ’’⁴⁴ These three ‘‘nonfiction’’ pieces make their taxonomizing particularly explicit, although similar and disparate taxonomies implicitly obtain in other examples and other genres. While certain motifs appear throughout the period, there is no clear pattern, no clear sense of continuity or development across time.

Inside the Bedroom, the outward aspect of Mr. Bigg changes as if by magic; and a kind of gorgeous slovenliness pervades him from top to toe. Buttons which have rigidly restrained him within distinct physical boundaries slip exhausted out of their button-holes; and the figure of Mr. Bigg suddenly expands and asserts itself for the first time as a protuberant fact. His neckcloth flies on to the nearest chair, Bachelors and bourgeois domesticity  his rigid shirt-collar yawns open, his wiry under-whiskers ooze multitudinously into view, his coat, waistcoat, and braces drop off his shoulders.

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