Spectators of war : gendered witnessing, age, and red tape in the First World War writings of Edith Wharton and May Sinclair.
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This thesis examines the intersection of age and gender in the First World War life writings and short stories by Edith Wharton and MaySinclair. It was generally believed that women could not witness the war and produce compelling firsthand accounts because they were always barred from accessing the same spaces as men, and Sinclair and Wharton confront this issue in their approaches to genre. Both authors use writing as a way to create tangible value and purpose for themselves during the war, despite the obstacles they encounter due to their position as middle aged women. This thesis contributes to existing scholarship on women’s First World War writing by comparing two authors who are not normally discussed together, and by considering age in addition to femininity in regards to the limitations of witnessing.
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