SEA CHANGES: ABSENCE OF THE FEMININE PRESENCE AND ITS REPLACEMENT IN VERNE'S VINGT MILLE LIEUES SOUS LES MERS
Chattin, Gena Rae
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The following work will examine masculine representations, the absence of feminine presence, and the elements that replace it in Jules Verne's 1870 novel Vingt mille lieues sous les mers. Maternity is of particular interest in this novel. Representations of family, when they can be found, are usually seen through inanimate objects, sterile eggs, or the corpses of mothers, potentially reflecting 19th century fears of the collapsing traditional family. To understand the implication this feminine absence and replacement, relationships between the primary male characters will be considered based on the type of masculinity each represents and how their roles affect the narrative. This will lead into a discussion of reproduction and sterility, which will dovetail into an analysis of representations of femininity and maternity with an eye toward what this says about Verne's entire body of work and future potential research in this area.