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Victorian Transformations

Fairy Tales, Adolescence, and the Novel of Female Development


Phyllis C. Ralph

Why do fairy tales and myths have universal appeal? Is it because they have happy endings? Or perhaps because their heroes and heroines set out on their own and overcome great obstacles before achieving their goals? Psychologists tell us that tales of transformation can provide paradigms of the process of growing up to guide and support their readers at a subconscious level. Victorian Transformations examines the psychological implications of these tales as their motifs were used by Jane Austen, Charlotte and Emily Brontë, and George Eliot in their creation of female protagonists who grow and change through their own initiative. Their adventures correspond to those of the fairy tale heroines in transforming not only themselves, but also their prospective husbands.
Contents: Contents include discoussions of selected fairy tales and myths, their psychoanalytical interpretations, adolescent development, and nineteenth-century British novels by and about women focusing on their growth and development.