Gender and the abject in the symbolic landscapes of Robert Louis Stevenson's “Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” and Olive Schreiner's “The Story of an African Farm”
The literature of the fin de siècle challenged established societal norms through its use of avant-garde literary forms and controversial subject matter. This study will examine the use of landscape metaphors in two major works of fin de siècle literature, Robert Louis Stevenson's Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Olive Schreiner's The Story of an African Farm, in order to reveal how these texts critique and re-vision the social dualities of gender. A wide range of literary theories—including, feminist theory, semiotics, and ecocriticism—are used to interpret these authors' influential narratives. This thesis will also apply Julia Kristeva's theory of the abject—as representing the permeability of the physical and social bodies—to critically examine the literal and metaphorical landscapes of Stevenson's city and Schreiner's farm. Thus, these visionary texts embody an organic and feminist understanding of the self as a permeable social construct that exists free of borders.
British and Irish literature;
0316: African literature
0593: British and Irish literature
0733: Gender studies