Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department or School

English Language and Literature

Committee Member

Laura George: Chair

Committee Member

Elisabeth Däumer: Committee Member


The dualities that are often associated with female characters have taken many forms throughout the centuries. In the Victorian era, female characters were often presented as dual natured; oftentimes this division was represented through the use of a madwoman and a heroine. In the early 20th century, however, this motif was picked up by female poets, who used duality in order to express the disconnect women often feel from their family, their friends, and, especially, their bodies. In today‟s literature, these feelings of duality and separation are expressed through a literal separation, not between good and evil, but of body and soul. In all forms throughout history, this motif has been used as a representation of the freedom of spirit that all women possess, but that is often stifled by society.