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Feminist Awareness in the Country Wife

Author YuShiMing
Tutor DuChangZhong
School Fujian Normal University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords feminist awareness female love and marriage marriage orientation
Type Master's thesis
Year 2008
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The thesis delves into the feminist awareness in William Wycherley’s The Country Wife written in 1675. The Country Wife is widely considered to be the most studied and revived comedy from the Restoration period. The themes of the play are money, love and marriage and sexual intrigue, which enlightens the feminist movement, expresses the awakening of women’s sexual consciousness and self-consciousness and their seeking for independent human dignity. However, when first published, it met with widespread hostile criticism because of its themes. Initially banned for its bawdiness for close to 200 years, the play’s themes of money, marriage and sexual intrigue nonetheless’s still strike a chord of universal appeal with contemporary audiences. Although the effect of The Country Wife on feminist awareness is across-century, women today should inherit and develop their progress to become freer human beings with full feminist awareness.The research is conducted on the first brief introduction of the author and the background of The Country Wife. Then in Chapter one explains the feminist awareness and multiple approaches of western feminist criticism, Chapter two analyzes the women liberation and feminism study in China, Chapter three is the historical criticism to the comedy, Chapter four is the feminist awareness embodied in The Country Wife, Chapter five discusses the marriage orientation of William Wycherley. And finally is the conclusion.

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