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date: 09 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

In his fiction, London insisted that his women are not mere “puppet[s] of Dame Nature,” for they live apart from their capacity to reproduce. They are rarely mothers, or even daughters, and when they are tagged as daughters they are daughters of natural forces or totemic entities. They exist in an uneasy tension between the demands of the body and those of the social order, a tension arising from the narrative’s attempts to square the biological nature of woman, traditionally conceived, with her place in political, social, and technological modernity, the classic conflict of the naturalistic novel. The repeated presence of women who embody a “post-Darwinian, technologized modernity” balances London’s reputation for writing a hypermasculine version of naturalism.

Keywords: femininity, masculinity, naturalism, modernity, body

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