Frances Burney's "Evelina"

Essay by melikekkUniversity, Bachelor's April 2004

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The novel which is called as "Evelina` was written by Frances Burney in the eighteenth century. Her novel is one of the first during this period that deals with the social construction of a lady. The fact that the subtitle of the book, "History of A Young Lady's Entrance into the World", deals with a lady entering to a new world, invites the reader to discover what world is being referred to. Burney's novel is a kind of source, which tells us about the eighteenth century England. It helps us to understand the social values, cultural status, and moral attitudes of the society. Burney's heroine suddenly finds herself in a new world in which she feels herself as a stranger. Besides the hardness of this unfamiliarity, she also have an identity crisis. She has never seen her father or her mother, whereas, she has never known about the meaning of parental love.

She is always longing for the love of a mother and a father. For instance, Mrs. Mirvan behaves very kindly to Evelina, so she likes her, sometimes she finds motherly feelings in Mrs. Mirvan towards her. " My mamma Mirvan, for she always calls me her child , said she would sit with Maria and me till we were provided with partners, and then join the card players." (Burney, 31)

She has the heartbreaking story of her parents. Her mother was an unlucky woman who had never found out what happiness is. In her worst days Reverend Mr.Villars helped her and took her under his shelter. She was ruined because her husband denied they had never been united. Therefore/ she became ill because of grief. Before she died she gave birth to her child, "Evelina". Her death put an end to the...