Author

Taylor Vesely

Date of Award

12-2019

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis

Department

English

First Advisor

Charles Sumner, Ph.D.

Advisor Department

English

Abstract

This thesis applies a psychoanalytic lens to a little-known and unfinished manuscript by Rebecca West. There is little scholarship on The Sentinel but a wealth of knowledge to be gained from it about the complicated psychological dilemmas the suffragists suffered. West was writing at a critical period in feminist history that is still relevant today, and this novel, which would have been her first, lays the groundwork for many of her future works. Her depictions of sexuality, violence, religion, and motherhood provide an excellent framework for both her protagonist’s self-suppression and a compelling psychoanalysis. This thesis argues that the many paradoxes produced by Adela Furnival’s self-suppression prevented West from finishing the manuscript, especially within the genre conventions of the New Woman novel.

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