George Sand and Her Heroines: Boundary-Breaking Women in the Age of Romanticism
The French Romantic author George Sand subverted societal gender roles in both her daily life and her writing. From crossdressing in public to divorcing her husband to engaging in numerous love affairs, Sand utterly rejected gender conformity in her own life. Similarly, her works of fiction challenged modern concepts of gender and placed the female condition on display in order to fervently critique it. While a member of Romanticism, Sand stood out from her peers by manipulating elements of the genre to create strong heroines and emphasize their fight against society. This thesis will examine three of Sand’s works—Indiana, The Marquise, and Gabriel—as well as her own life in order to explore the ways in which she and her heroines pursued female liberty. Further, it will analyze the ways that Sand manipulated literary genre and narrative strategies to place the female condition on display through her works.