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The Adulteress and the Confines of Marriage: “The Return” and The Rescue

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Abstract

Conrad’s earlier Jamesian story “The Return” and his late novel The Rescue both consider the issue of women’s dissatisfaction in marriage and the problematic possibility of adultery. Featuring marriages based on illusion and presumption, Conrad initially poses extramarital relationships as a way for these heroines to escape to what may be a more equitable and affectionate union. Yet, both “The Return” and The Rescue ultimately demonstrate that the heroines’ frustration has less to do with their specific husbands than it does with the entrenched system of gender roles that proves to be at the root of their dissatisfaction.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EnglishUniversity of South AlabamaMobileUSA

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