The Hidden Hand Is A Novel English Literature Essay

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-Traverse and cap -authors marriage:-parents marriage: mom was young and unassertive, dad denies and abandons them with money trouble, and remarries an alcoholic whos abusive. Emma- her own marriage to a shady guy who abandons her, instead of divorce, he tried to fortune in South America, negative view, returned and drained her property-power

Step father wont let her return home, even though that's not what her mom wishes, her mom has to submit because of binding contact….still building on how Southworth builds marriage. In seeing the oppression of her mother and also the hardships she herself experienced, she was predisposed to paint marriage in a cynical light as evident in the Hidden Hand.

Mara and Warfield---old hurricane was 45 she was 16, it was because of her youthful beautiful…consistent with her parents marriage… not a coincidence that the predominant mother and father figures closly mirror the authors experiences

Pg 94: "he seemed almost a god to worship" …one to be served

With such unequal standing in age and wealth, its understandable how she could adore the man, but the familiar stereotype of this marriage opened her up to suffer….women in marriages like this don't quite realize the contract they are going into when the enter

Marriages like this were the norm… research…BUT by choosing not to glorify these unfair marraiges and in doing so exposes how heavily her own experiences her fictional relationships….

These marriages were a common thing of the time and were accepted…

In the early portions of the hidden hand he easily crosses gender lines and this transfer is negatited ultimately in the end because of southworths experiences showed her that marriage conforms a person

Starts as a perfect contrast to her…womanly

She's a women full of manly…but together their opposites and equals…

His school like crush on clara and affection for his mother show how women-like vitures can be just as admirable in a male

As the novel goes on, traverse wants to marry clara, and because EDEN assoc. marriage with conformation, she writes in a way that has traverse become more masculine so he can marry clara. Before he saw her as a potential wife, who was completely loyal to his mother…femine…

When he begins to take clara as his wife he listens to dr. day, (pg 228) "to the west, get into practice there and at the end of a few years return to marry clara"

When he fails to become a doctor, he doesn't go back to his mother which he likely would have done if he had stayed as his femanine charcter. Now set on marriage he disgaurds that part of himself and joins the army… feel snecessary to marry someone like clara


In order to get married, he also reverts back to a masculine role, goes west to become a doctor to be the bread winner, refuses to return until he is that provider….even though he returns in failure…

Southworths experiences of how marriage forces pppl to become a certain way, are evident in how traverse tries to become more manly, as that's what society dictates. She had no experience of marriage without being conformed, so we can see this connection is visible in his change. Even though this is the very change she is trying to dispel.


Southwarth leads the charge in bringing down gender roles within the novel , but clearly falters at the end of the book as capitola becomes less of who she was, and is domesticated in a way to allow for her marriage.

Cap is a women but is independent and strong and courageous... tom boy character

These are what make her who she is, without these she wouldn't be cap

"pg 329" Herbert grayson who always vowed…" when she's around him, she is no longer the strong independent person she is. After this southworth shows how cap loses her identity in the face of this marriage.

Marriage all but inevitable…

While at the mansion she does needle work…used to do them alone now with Herbert and old hurricane now that WE see marriage on the horizon and WE see her becoming subservient

All these things are "uncapitola like" No longer Capitola Madcap…she is tamed.

Southworth draws you in with caps strength and independence, who she is begins to fade to allow for this marriage, and in doing so she backtracks in her efforts to dispel gender roles.

-at the end southworth lets capitola continue to fade from the madcap into a subservient wife. Pg 470, capitolas rxn to the letter he talks about how the marriage should happen asap but should let uncle know. He doesn't really ask her, he just assumes that because hes fulfill the "Knight in shining armor" she is assumed to submit as the "perfect wife." Southworth allows her to submit in this way. We expect cap to reject Herbert, joke, or demand some informal request in a proper manner as an equal, but instead southworth writes capitola conformed. "forces on me the… I declare that I should get angry…dear darling sweet Herbert…if anyone else…but" .

-because he fits this she submits

Just as southworth's mother left and took up the expectations of her role, capitola also become less to become mrs greyson.

In the entire novel there are many women who are submissive and feminine. But we love cap because she is independent and argumentative. With marriage in the horizon we see her independent spirit broken to become mrs. Greyson. That which had defined capitola begins to fade and this is reflective of how southworths experiences force a women to become less, thus detracting from capitolas past charge across gender lines.

The hidden hand is full of stereotypes being defined. This is done to break down gender roles and social norms. This breaking of roles was not something southworth experienced. As shown earlier, she uses life experiences to build relationships in her novels, because those are of submission, the marriages she writes about then, are also stained. Defining characteristic of marriage in her mind. The changing that traverse and cap go through marriages… lessens the work that southworth worked so hard at to break down gender roles. Argued that the breakdown of the characters at the end is because of her inability to envision a healthy marriage which unfortunately is not in line with her vision of instilling these gender roles.

Journey of her peers..american writers