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Gadylshin T. R. “The war between the sexes” in the works of F. Norris (The novels “Moran of the Lady Letty” and “A Man’s Woman”). Izvestiya of Saratov University. Philology. Journalism, 2022, vol. 22, iss. 4, pp. 421-427. DOI:

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“The war between the sexes” in the works of F. Norris (The novels “Moran of the Lady Letty” and “A Man’s Woman”)

The article seeks to explore the concepts of masculinity and androgyny in the works of the American writer Frank Norris (1870-1902). Based on two novels, “Moran of the Lady Letty” and “A Man’s Woman”, the study examines the peculiarity of male and female images. The interaction of the sexes often grows irreconcilable, and the theme of emancipation becomes one of the key ones in the writer’s work. Norris creates a new model of female behavior, unusual for the literary tradition of the past: women in his works demonstrate great fortitude and are able to play unexpected roles. In the novel “Moran of the Lady Litty”, Moran Sternersen who has been sailing the seas since childhood, is able to take control of the ship’s crew, consisting entirely of men. At the same time, she sets an example for her lover, Ross Wilbur, who at the beginning of the novel is presented as a pampered young man. Raised in an aristocratic environment, Ross feels a lack of masculine qualities and unexpectedly discovers them in Moran. In his relationship with the girl the man seeks to adopt definite traits and skills from her, such as firmness in interpersonal relationships, the ability to fight, to take quick decisions, etc. Lloyd Searight from the novel “A Man’s Woman” revives the waning will of her husband, Ward Bennett, a polar explorer, demoralized by the failure of his last expedition to the North Pole. Lloyd, who works in the hospital as a nurse, quits her profession in order to help her husband to recover. Having been healed, Bennett realizes that his wife has suffered just as much, and decides to make a new attempt to conquer the Arctic. Thus, Norris demonstrates the obsolescence of sexual prejudice in a rapidly changing America of 1890–1900s and offers an original interpretation of the ideas of masculinity and androgyny.


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