Society of Men or the Danger of Female Forces in the Victorian Fiction of Imperialism


Assistant Professor, Farhangian University


Cultural misogyny has always been a high point and the 19 th century England is not an exception. Women become dangerous, destructive and even deadly forces in the fantasies of many artists, painters and writers of the Victorian culture. Fin-de-siècle fiction portrays unhappy marriages, trapped or wounded men and men who never marry.
The purpose of this research is to examine how women become a subversion of masculinity and manhood as well as of the social, political and economic structures of England and its colonies in the three adventure novels of H. Rider Haggard, R. Kipling and J. Conrad. These works portray male relationships and male bonding in exotic settings and difficult conditions, while women are either absent, labeled as dangerous femme fatales, or kept to marginal presence at best. However, as they return to England, many of these heroes are estranged from a collective identity and suffer in solitude in an attempt to achieve a meaningful masculine identity, having to come to terms with the notion of what men are and what they should be.