discussion question 5

I don’t understand this English question and need help to study.

Read the following:

  1. Fantomina by Eliza Haywood.
  2. Chapter 8 (pgs. 80-84) of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft.

Fantomina is the oldest text we’ll be reading this term. It’s from the early 1700s (over 100 years before A Doll’s House was written). As such, although it’s certainly shorter than A Doll’s House you may need to spend a little more time with it because the writing style and language use may take some getting used to. Fantomina is what we refer to as a “novella,” and by that I don’t mean a Spanish-language soap opera! A literary novella is essentially a work that is longer than a short story, but shorter than a novel. Once you’ve read the literature and the chapter from A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, get to work on the discussion. SPOILERS — Reading the questions may ruin some of the story for you, so wait until you’ve finished reading it. ;o}

Respond to the following questions:

  • What role does the theme of performance play in this story?
  • The main character invents the name “Fantomina” for herself. Why that name? What about the other names? What does the name “Beauplaisir” mean?
  • How is it possible that Beauplaisir would not recognize Fantomina in her other guises?
  • Wollstonecraft (2017) argues that “advice about behaviour and about all the various ways of preserving a good reputation—advice that has been so strenuously forced on the female world—is a glittering poison that forms a crust around morality and eats away its substance,” and she explains that this causes women to “acquire … an artificial way of behaving” (p. 80). How are Fantomina’s actions an example of what Wollstonecraft is referring to?


discussion question 5

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