Fantomina meaning

Through the unspoken/spoken dynamic tension between Anne and Wentworth’s action and speech interacting with each other, Austen portrays how English upper-class society has internalized a specific vocabulary of performative gestures in social relationships, which is further divided across gendered lines. Perhaps if the heroine had seduced Beauplaisir under different circumstances with her honor and virtue still in tact, they would have been able to live happily under the confines of marriage. She was an “aggressive writer,” who made important comments upon the position and role of women during the eighteenth century. And what is quite perplexing about these characters is how they are completely vulnerable to their emotions because they are women.

This consumerist nature is displayed again when Gulliver is offered an official title within Lilliput, increasing his ranking and social standing.The conclusion of Fantomina’s narrative is a rather strange one, distorting the traditional moral lessons seen in other 18th century “fable[s] of feminine distress” (Schofield 10). Her initial repulsion fits with the norms of female virtuous character, yet Haywood quickly makes it clear that Fantomina also has sexual and romantic desire for Beauplaisir. Web.Like Fantomina to a certain extent, and most certainly Moll Flanders within Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe, Gulliver concerns himself a great deal with material possessions. First of all, she depends on only herself to get through the game and any pain it might cause her. The first is the Feminine Stage, which involves the “imitation of the prevailing modes of the dominant tradition” and “internalization of its standards” (Showalter 13). The highly organized, theatrical space of the plotted novel allows the authors’ protagonists to reflect on the very socioeconomic conditions which might shape their private sense of individual selfhood through performative strategies which can either reinforce or contradict society’s cultural norms. Tradition can thus be outdated, and have a negative effect in dragging ‘everything’ back to the familiar but obsolete. Pamela possesses, and emanates, the attributes of a good example naturally: For Beauty, Virtue, Prudence, and Generosity […] she has more than any Lady […] she has all these naturally; they are born with her (Richardson, p.423). This leaves readers questioning what characteristics the real Fantomina possesses, and if she is truly clever enough to outwit and trap Beauplaisir within her feminine clutches. The audience is also intended to find some meaning in the consequences of Fantomina’s antics. Women risked their reputations in order to obtain economic freedom through this ‘inappropriate’ career and Haywood would have undoubtedly seen these feminine conflicts during her career as an actress. An actor misses his or her cue and a joke can fall flat, the buildup of dramatic tension can be lost, and the narrative illusion keeping the audience engaged can be lost. Pregnancy is a consequence that she cannot run from and ultimately shows the weakness of the female sex, something, though, that Lady — herself cannot control. Gulliver’s master also states that “There was nothing that rendered the Yahoos more odious, than their undistinguishing Appetite to devour every Thing that came in their way” which displays the massive need for humans to consume goods just for the sake of consumption (Swift 220).

Remarkably, the responsibility of power and knowledge placed upon Fantomina also change the economic dynamics of the narrative: “[H]e went out of the House determined to never re-enter it, till she should pay the Price of his Company with the Discovery of her Face and Circumstances” (245).


Austen’s Anne Elliot, is a character who has matured over time through a kind of self-education of social and economic power structures. By this point, Fantomina claims she is in love with Beauplaisir, and would do anything to engage in intercourse with him again.

Haywood is clearing pointing out the fact that true love can never last on the foundations of lies and disguise. By having intercourse before marriage, the protagonist establishes a new sense of freedom that she will use as a way to manipulate Beauplaisir while she is Incognita.

Jane Spencer, a feminist and the author of a book trying to empower the voice within women writers, says in her book, The Rise of the Woman Novelist, “Any study which treats of women writers as a separate group needs to explain the reasoning behind such a procedure. Incognita writes to Beauplaisir first, an act that separates him from her sensually. Frankenstein reveals that it was a crucial responsibility for women to provide happiness to their male counterparts. According to Levin, the female protagonist learns sexual knowledge through experience, she jumps over conventional boundaries by becoming the teacher instead of the learner (5). She learns quickly that men desire difference while women desire sameness so she elegantly disguises her desire for the same object with his for a new (Merritt 53 & 55). It is addressed to her Mother alone, despite almost every other letter being addressed to both parents. Furthermore, in considering the development of the novel, while the theater must make conflicts or characterization explicit through dialogue or movement, the novel allowed for greater complication of the understanding of the self. Her reaction is an emotionally instinctive one, as Fantomina, realizing she has lost her honour, breaks down and cries. When she first incites her plan to trick Beauplaisir, she weighs the possible consequences to herself. An abstract is not required. Toronto: Broadview Press Ltd., 2004.Haywood, Eliza. She “provided herself of another disguise to carry on a third plot” (Haywood 2747), and then “she had prepared herself for it, and had another project in embryo, which she soon ripened into action” (Haywood 2751), a deceit unmatched by any other. Unlike men, for the most part, however, they may have to practice masquerade and deception in order to fulfill those desires. In the monastery, Lady — has the opportunity to live in an all-female society, a society that is free from male bias, power, and control. However, Fantomina appears to demonstrate feminist views that were rare, and more radical for its time.