NameCho, Hyunyoung (author), McKeon, Michael (chair), Coiro, Ann Baynes (internal member), Kramnick, Jonathan (internal member), Zwicker, Steven (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
SubjectLiteratures in English,
Utopias in literature,
English literature--17th century—Themes, motives,
Marvell, Andrew, 1621-1678. Upon Appleton House,
Newcastle, Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of, 1624?-1674--Criticism and interpretation,
Bunyan, John, 1628-1688. Pilgrim's progress
DescriptionMy dissertation examines the way in which families are imagined as situated utopias in early modern England. Unlike pre-modern dreams for imaginary paradises, early modern utopias aspire to construct an optimum society in this world by human agency and organization. The representative seventeenth-century utopian writings demonstrate this situating tendency, presenting practical political schemes to be implemented here and now. My dissertation shifts the focus to the literary works that are not usually classified under the rubric of utopia, and explores the ways in which the family emerges as the crucial sociocultural locus for utopia in early modern England. Each chapter explores different aspects of the way utopia becomes situated in everyday life, and especially that of the family. The first chapter examines Andrew Marvell’s situating revision of the country house poem in “Upon Appleton House.” Impersonating the estate surveyor, the poet subjects the estate to an empirical and historical analysis. While idealizing the conjugal nuclear family of a Parliamentarian general as a utopia, “Paradise’s only map,” the surveyor-poet also presents his own map in the form of this poem, evoking other socio-politically inflected utopias. Chapter Two studies the feminine imagination of the utopian family in Margaret Cavendish’s plays. Acutely aware of the disadvantages that women faced in the marriage market and marital life, Cavendish explores the secularized convent community of women as a potential alternative, but also appropriates the Lockean idea of an autonomous (male) subject for her heroines in her radical revision of the conjugal family from within. Chapter Three reorients the prevailing feminist readings of John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress that tend to focus on female characters in the second part. I argue that the shift from pre-modern to modern sociability constitutes the literal-historical dimension of Christian’s pilgrimage and that the second part is mainly concerned with constructing a utopian communitarian family here and now by revising the residual model of family/community with the emerging principles of human collectivity.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Hyunyoung Cho
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.