Essence Of The Age Of Enlightenment In Emma Donoghue's 'Slammerkin'

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This paper aims at analysing Emma Donoghue’s Slammerkin, written in 2000 and set in mid-eighteenth century England, projects a girl who in no time is pushed into the category of a ‘fallen woman’ for violating the prescribed patriarchal norms and roles for women. Here the girl, Mary, is represented as a universal subject who lives in the wretched condition of most women of her rank and background in the eighteenth century, at the same time, her singular personality interrogates the anti-women stance of the Enlightenment as she emerges into her own in the same inimical historical time and place to reach beyond it to the current readership. The scope of reclamation is dealt to facilitate lost selfhood in general and of women victims in particular. Its objective is to asseverate the wholeness of one’s identity. Reclamation is synonymous to the redefinition of womanhood and her selfhood. The victory of assertion can be felicitously traced when Mary redefines the term prostitute by combating the patriarchal society of the Enlightenment that makes her a peripheral character. Thus, Mary in Slammerkin, works its way through the narrative of trauma and seek to reclaim itself persistently, powerfully and substantially. The Essence of the Age of Enlightenment in Emma Donoghue’s Slammerkin Emma Donoghue has set Slammerkin in the Enlightenment, a period in which she is deeply interested, a period when Europe and America emerged from centuries of ignorance into an age of

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