Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10077/6290
Title: “Unbecoming Young Ladies”: alimentazione, identità di genere e status sociale nella narrativa statunitense per adolescenti del XIX secolo"
Authors: Vellucci, Sabrina
Keywords: Eating practices for girlsAmerican eating practices for girlsWomen and food
Issue Date: 2004
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Sabrina Vellucci, “Unbecoming Young Ladies”: alimentazione, identità di genere e status sociale nella narrativa statunitense per adolescenti del XIX secolo", in: Prospero. Rivista di Letterature Straniere, Comparatistica e Studi Culturali, XI (2004), pp. 189-203
Series/Report no.: Prospero XI
Abstract: "Gypsy Breynton" by Elizabeth Stuart-Phelps, "Little Women" by Louisa May Alcott, and "What Katy Did" by Susan Coolidge were three popular series of “girls’ books” born just after the Civil War and aimed at young girls belonging to the white American middle-class. Their main characters had very spirited temperaments, and they could be classified as ‘tomboys’ for their slightly masculine appearances and their passion for adventure. These texts were a first attempt at breaking the mould and the conventions of the Victorian sentimental novel and its clichés of girls too pure, perfect and saint. The girls’ attitude to food, and their feasting in the colleges’ dormitories were slightly subversive for the time, and the readers were advised not to follow their heroines’ example. The relationship with food was also a mark of the character’s social standing and her breeding, since the ability of restraining one’s appetite was considered typical of the upper classes. The recurrence of references to food and its related practices was an important novelty which foreshadowed a first definition of female adolescence by proposing, at the same time, a discourse on gender identity quite divergent from the dominant ideology of the white middle class ‘femininity’.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10077/6290
ISSN: 1123-2684
Appears in Collections:2004 / 11 Prospero. Rivista di Letterature Straniere, Comparatistica e Studi Culturali

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