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Making Scenes: Social Theatre and Modes of Survival in Burney's Performative 'World'

Schaffner, Rebecca E. (2011) Making Scenes: Social Theatre and Modes of Survival in Burney's Performative 'World'. MA by research thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

This study explores the use and representation of social theatrics in Frances Burney’s early works (Evelina, The Witlings, and Cecilia), as a social force, a tool, and a threat stemming from and contributing to an essentially theatrical ‘World.’ Characters are analyzed through two functional pairs of characteristics: the imaginative/nonimaginative and the natural/performative. Chapter 1 discusses gossips as the audience for social performance in Burney’s works. Chapter 2 studies the affective language of two imaginative social performers, Sir Clement Willoughby and Mr. Harrel. Chapter 3 investigates the performance of ‘privacy’ by Cecilia’s Mr. Monckton. In Chapter 4, the question of moral alignment comes into play through Harrel and Mr. Belfield, regarding both performance and the theatrical ‘World’ itself. Chapter 5 investigates the effects of social theatre on Burney’s natural, nonperformative protagonists, and their effectiveness in a performance-driven society. Concluding, this study finds a universal danger in social theatricality and a limit to viable alternatives for those who wish to escape it.

Item Type: Thesis (MA by research)
Keywords: Frances Fanny Burney theatre eighteenth century London pleasure gardens gaming houses gambling debt duel dueling suicide marriage masculinity femininity theatricality gossip rake fop rape sexuality danger masquerade Evelina Cecilia The Witlings Censor Beaufort Mortimer Delvile Clement Willoughby public places privacy Monckton Belfield Lord Orville Voluble performance natural characters virtue World stage Vauxhall city country women men England English Literature 1782 1778
Academic Units: The University of York > English and Related Literature (York)
Depositing User: Rebecca E. Schaffner
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2012 11:07
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 08:48
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/2261

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