The novel, The Woman in White, seeks to revise recent accounts of the model of male identity posited by the first sensation novel(Ablow, Par. 4). In The Woman in White, the author, Wilkie Collins, presents masculinity through the character of Marian Holcombe at a time when femininity was a favorable trait in women. Marian's sister, Laura, is another female character in the book that is semi-independent. Marian, who is essentially the main character in the story, possesses masculine traits that make her different from not only the other women in the story, but women of society as well. Marian is a conqueror, never afraid to tackle a problem or stand up to a man. To understand what makes up the traits of the characters, it is important to understand the author.
[...] I believe that since women did not work, it set the tone that they could not accomplish certain tasks on their own. The Women in White was a “sensation novel” which is a form of a mystery novel popular in the 1860's. Sensation novels were from the Victorian time period which features dramatic and thrilling events. The general plot of the story is often conspiracies, hidden secrets, and crimes. There are several characteristics that make this story a sensation fiction novel. Sensation novels often “victimize naïve young people, by older, more experienced criminals” (Grost, par. [...]
[...] “Good Vibrations: The Sensationalization of Masculinity in The Woman in White.” A Forum in Fiction Spring 2004: 158. Academic Search Premier. EBSCOhost. A. Pierre Guillermin, Lynchburg, VA March 2006
[...] Laura looks identical to the mysterious character Anne Catherick, who is the woman in white. The most important trait that sensation novels contain is the “criticism of socially approved roles for men and women, and ideas of femininity” (Sensation novel). In The Women in White, Marian's femininity is probably criticized more than any other character. With the exception of Laura standing up to Sir Percival about not wanting to marry him, she is a very feminine lady unlike Marian who is very masculine upper class woman. [...]
[...] Marian and Hartright work together in the case of trying to discover the mysterious woman in white. Instead of dismissing the mystery of the woman, Marian is rather intrigued and seeks to learn more of who this woman could be. Marian takes a leadership role and goes through many letters of Mrs. Fairlie to learn more of the woman in white. Mrs. Fairlie is like a mother to Anne Catherick and that's why Marian feels she can learn more about her through her mother's letters. [...]
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