‘What Had She to Do With Angels?’ : Gender and Narrative in The Fortunes of Richard Mahony

Abstract

Pratt examines the concept of ‘personal narrative’ in terms of the politics of gender. Mary’s presence in the text as a ‘stereotypical maiden/wife/mother’ serves to stablize Richard’s sense of self, but as she becomes more of an individual presence in the trilogy this stability is disturbed. Mary’s assertion of self demonstrates the instability of Richard’s transcendental vision and the influence of Mary’s earthiness on the social complex of the trilogy.

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Published 1 October 1993 in Volume 16 No. 2. Subjects: Characterisation, Gender - Literary portrayal, Narrative structure, Stereotypes, Henry Handel Richardson .

Cite as: Pratt, Catherine Cecilia. ‘‘What Had She to Do With Angels?’ : Gender and Narrative in The Fortunes of Richard Mahony.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 16, no. 2, 1993. https://doi.org/10.20314/als.63d9409f32.