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The Morgesons

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By: (1823-1902)

In Elizabeth Stoddard's novel, readers are transported into the world of a dysfunctional and complicated family living in the small town of Burnet. The main character, Cassandra Morgeson, is a young woman who must navigate the expectations and gender roles of 19th-century society while trying to find her own path in life.

Stoddard's prose is beautifully written, filled with vivid descriptions that bring the setting and characters to life. The dynamics between the Morgeson family members are complex and often fraught with tension, making for a compelling and occasionally unsettling read.

The exploration of gender roles and societal expectations is a central theme in the novel, as Cassandra struggles to define herself in a world that constantly seeks to confine her. The nuanced portrayal of the relationships between men and women, as well as the power dynamics at play, adds depth and complexity to the story.

Overall, The Morgesons is a thought-provoking and emotionally resonant novel that delves into the complexities of family, gender, and identity. Stoddard's lyrical prose and insightful characterizations make this a captivating and memorable read.

Book Description:
Stoddard’s novel traces the education and development of a young female in American middle-class society. The protagonist, Cassandra Morgeson, is educated by a series of journeys she makes throughout her youth and early adulthood. Each new setting represents a different stage in her intellectual development.
Cassandra is born in Surrey, a small New England town. Surrey is quiet and isolated, granting a young woman little intellectual stimulation. Cassandra escapes the boredom of domestic life through stories of adventure and exploration. Surrey instills in Cassandra a restlessness that drives her quest for knowledge and experience.
(Introduction by Wikipedia)

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