Analysis Of The Narrative ' Fantomina '

1170 WordsMar 28, 20175 Pages
Fantomina follows a feminist agenda with its protagonist lusting after a man and being in control of most of the sexual encounters that occur with him. In the narrative, Haywood uses feminist ideologies to show a relationship between sexual liberation and oppression. The relationship is used to convey the gender and social stereotypes that existed during the eighteenth century. The omniscient narrator begins the story by describing the protagonist as “A young Lady of distinguished Birth, Beauty, Wit, and Spirit” and creates an image of a young, lively woman who is from a higher social class. The protagonist is at a playhouse and notices men gravitating towards the prostitutes and decides she would like to receive the same attention as…show more content…
The protagonist tells Beauplaisir her name is Fantomina. She explains to him she is not a mistress and came to town to buy clothes. He believes her and does not apologize or regret taking her virginity. While he triumphs in the loss of her virginity, the protagonist feels a loss of honor. The protagonist is victimized in the beginning of the story. The narrator mocks her for having a lack of judgment and is not sympathetic when the protagonist is raped. There is a change in narrative when the protagonist reflects on her time with Beauplaisir. “The more she reflected on the Merits of Beauplaisir, the more she excused herself for what she had done” (Haywood, 4). She internalizes the idea that the rape was her fault and begins to forgive herself for her actions. The protagonist begins to romanticize her time with Beauplaisir and devises a plan, so she can see Beauplaisir again. She returns to the playhouse as Fantomina. The protagonist adorns herself in jewels and assumes Beauplaisir will not be able to resist her. He pays no attention to her and denies her offer to accompany her to the Bath. She leaves the playhouse, but already has another plan devised. She travels to where Beauplaisir is lodging and disguises herself as a maid named Celia. Celia is a name used to reference pastoral poetry and idealizes labor in rural areas. The protagonist creates a fantasy of a maid’s work and service because it is not her reality. As Celia, the protagonist is submissive

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