In her final novel The Wanderer, or Female Difficulties (1814), Frances Burney addresses contemporary philosophies of personal identity in complex ways that expose the ambiguities inherent in eighteenth-century notions of the self. Burney engages, tests, and challenges the concepts of the self-in-consciousness and the abject self to expose problems and complexities within contemporary discourses. Issues of performance, performativity, and theatricality are also explored within the narrative to expose complexities concerning the role of agency in the creation, profession, and perpetuation of personal identity. Several ways in which Burney experiments with narrative form and the relationship between the text and the reader are also investigated, especially techniques related to the construction and employment of the narrator.
Thesis (M.A.)--University of Kansas, English, 2007.