"A lady to take care of us at last"
Problems of New Womanhood in J.M. Barrie's "Peter and Wendy"
This essay explores the depiction of the “New Woman” figure in J. M. Barrie’s Peter and Wendy (1911). By exploring contradictory modes of femininity, Barrie’s novel points to the ways in which established norms of masculinity at the fin-de-siècle were defined and frustrated by their relation to an unstable feminine ideal. The following essay will argue that the novel’s inconsistent depictions of femininity point to an end-of-the-era anxiety surrounding the emergent New Woman, an ambivalence which is symptomatic of the wider social and political uncertainties that defined the aftermath of the nineteenth century.
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