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Shaw and FeminismsOn Stage and Off$
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D. A. Hadfield and Jean Reynolds

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780813042435

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813042435.001.0001

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Shutting Out Mother Vivie Warren as the New Woman

Shutting Out Mother Vivie Warren as the New Woman

(p.56) 3 Shutting Out Mother Vivie Warren as the New Woman
Shaw and Feminisms

Ann Wilson

University Press of Florida

In Shaw's groundbreaking play Mrs Warren's Profession, Vivie Warren seems to break completely with traditional roles for women. Refusing to marry or even continue to have a relationship with her mother, and insisting on her right to a career and financial independence, Vivie seems daring and iconoclastic. But Ann Wilson's analysis of the play through the lens of self-conscious staging and theatricality shows both Vivie and her mother striving to perform particular types of female identities. Moreover, Wilson argues, rather than creating a radically new identity, Vivie's New Woman demonstrates its fundamental dependence on the role of middle-class femininity that her mother has had to play, to a certain extent mitigating the threat that the New Woman posed to the allied projects of femininity and nationalism.

Keywords:   Mrs Warren's Profession, A Doll's House, Drama, Vivie Warren, Bernard Shaw, New Woman, Feminism, Class, theatricality

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