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Disguise in George Sand’s Novels

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Françoise Ghillebaert

Sandian heroines swirl around men in their sororal and sartorial disguises like moths around candle flames. However, as Disguise in George Sand’s Novels illustrates, the disguise is not an instrument to seduce men but rather to assert the heroines’ true selves. The portrayal of female and androgynous protagonists in Rose et Blanche (1831), Indiana (1832), Lélia (1833/39), Gabriel (1839), Consuelo (1842), and La Comtesse de Rudolstadt (1844) is a metaphor to demonstrate the continuity of identities before and after the disguise as George Sand stipulates in her theory of the ménechme. Disguise in George Sand’s Novels explores the maturation process of Romantic and artistically inclined heroines and highlights the spiritual meaning of the disguise as a rite of passage for the birth of a new type of protagonist: spiritual, self-assertive, and dedicated to erasing gender inequality and helping the poor.