Presentation Type

Paper

Presenter Information

Charmaine N. OliverFollow

Title of Abstract

Frances Burney and Filial Piety

Abstract

Eighteenth century society regulated middle to upper class women to the domestic sphere, claiming the impropriety in their taking part in male-dominated social institutions like book publishing. Many women, who desired to write, whether in the form of private journaling or publishing novels, endured much disapprobation from larger patriarichal society and in the male-run family structure. This paper explores Frances Burney’s struggle to publish her literary works, pursue social and romantic relationships, and employment opportunities, while maintaining a filial pious relationship with her father, Dr. Charles Burney, whose life purpose was to raise his family’s social status by regulating members to socially permissible behavior. Also, I use many of Burney’s works, the Memoirs of Dr. Burney, Evelina, Cecilia, Elberta, her tragedies—Hubert De Vere, The Siege of the Pevensey etc., and her journals to study how character and plot influences derive from her father desiring her to act passively. Ultimately, I argue that while Dr. Burney’s behavior is certainly problematic, Burney is also at fault. Because she only denounces her relationship with her father to marry Alexandre D’Arblay, Burney ardently seeks the love and affection Dr. Burney was unable to give her.

Categories

Humanities

Research Type

Course Related

Mentor Information

Dr. Precious Mckenzie

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Frances Burney and Filial Piety

Eighteenth century society regulated middle to upper class women to the domestic sphere, claiming the impropriety in their taking part in male-dominated social institutions like book publishing. Many women, who desired to write, whether in the form of private journaling or publishing novels, endured much disapprobation from larger patriarichal society and in the male-run family structure. This paper explores Frances Burney’s struggle to publish her literary works, pursue social and romantic relationships, and employment opportunities, while maintaining a filial pious relationship with her father, Dr. Charles Burney, whose life purpose was to raise his family’s social status by regulating members to socially permissible behavior. Also, I use many of Burney’s works, the Memoirs of Dr. Burney, Evelina, Cecilia, Elberta, her tragedies—Hubert De Vere, The Siege of the Pevensey etc., and her journals to study how character and plot influences derive from her father desiring her to act passively. Ultimately, I argue that while Dr. Burney’s behavior is certainly problematic, Burney is also at fault. Because she only denounces her relationship with her father to marry Alexandre D’Arblay, Burney ardently seeks the love and affection Dr. Burney was unable to give her.