All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Lila Graves

Advisory Committee Members

Daniel Siegel

Gale Temple

Document Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2013

Degree Name by School

Master of Arts (MA) College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

This thesis expands scholarship in the study of amatory fiction by introducing three male canonical authors--Pope, Defoe, and Swift--into a body of criticism typically focused on female non-canonical authors. The authors' awareness and engagement of the amatory template calls for a reconsideration of the profound role in which the amatory genre plays in the novel tradition. I examine how amatory tropes are used in The Rape of the Lock, Roxana, and Gulliver's Travels to satirize sexual politics in the domestic sphere, but I also extend amatory studies by positioning the authors' satire in the public setting of a changing Britain. My research explores the ways in which Britain's ascension as a growing capitalistic power and its strengthening as a force in international luxury trade inform the aforementioned literary texts; moreover, I argue that the authors' engagement of the amatory temple demonstrates their anxieties about Britain's growing ethos of commodification and consumption. My primary argument is that the conventions of amatory fiction are used to satirize sexual politics and to indict the culture of commodification fostered by capitalism and global luxury trade.

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