Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, English and Literary Arts

First Advisor

Jan Gorak, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Jessica Munns

Third Advisor

Susan Walter


Domestic fiction, Domesticity, Femininity, Feminism, Satire, Women writers


Female satirists have long been treated by critics as anomalies within an androcentric genre because of the reticence to acknowledge women's right to express aggression through their writing. In Pride and Prejudice (1813), A House and Its Head (1935), and The Girls of Slender Means (1963), Jane Austen (1775-1817), Ivy Compton-Burnett (1884-1969), and Muriel Spark (1918-2006) all combine elements of realism and satire within the vehicle of the domestic novel to target institutions of their patriarchal societies, including marriage and family dynamics, as well as the evolving conceptions of domesticity and femininity, with a subtle feminism. These female satirists illuminate the problems they have with society more through presentation than judgment in their satire, which places them on the fringes of a society they wish to educate, distinguishing their satire from that written by male satirists who are judging from a privileged height above the society they are attempting to correct. All three women create heroines and secondary female characters who find ways to survive, and occasionally thrive, within the confines of a polite society that has a streak of savagery running just beneath its polished surface.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Jaclyn Andrea Reed


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

66 p.


British and Irish Literature, Women's Studies