Abstract

Abstract:

Susan Warner’s The Wide, Wide World (1850) and Martha Finley’s Elsie’s Girlhood (1872) contain mirrored story arcs about their young protagonists, Ellen Montgomery and Elsie Dinsmore. In both novels, the girls travel locally and globally, and their journeys portend important markers in their self-understanding as well as their relationships to others. Their adventures are grounded in an allegorical, Protestant Christian tradition that ultimately fuses with a uniquely American sense of identity when they go abroad. Via travel, Ellen and Elsie learn to invoke that fused understanding of Christianity and patriotism to thwart patriarchal confines and claim independence and control over their own lives.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1553-1201
Print ISSN
0885-0429
Pages
pp. 4-26
Launched on MUSE
2019-03-02
Open Access
No
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