Resistance to Domesticity in Fanny Fern’s Ruth Hall: A Feminist Viewpoint


  • Zahraa Gamal Saad Mahmoud Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin
  • Mohd Nazri Latiff Azmi Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin
  • Isyaku Hassan Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin



domesticity, feminism, gender, self-reliance,, social class


The status of women in society is often overlooked and defined only through the presence of men. This situation tends to exclude women from socio-cultural, economic, and political contributions to society, which can be reproduced in literary texts. In particular, Fanny Fern’s Ruth Hall (1855) reflects the miserable position of women in 19th century America and demonstrates that women must resist manhood’s power to achieve a certain ontological sense in life. Via a context-oriented technique, our analysis aims to explore the practical means through which Ruth, the protagonist of Fern’s Ruth Hall, resists domesticity to achieve self-realization and social freedom from feminist theoretical viewpoints. According to the analysis, Ruth resists domesticity through events, endurance, self-reliance, and in terms of language. Despite social standards, Fern’s representation of Ruth’s financial success highlights how women can surpass gender boundaries. Fern’s depiction of Ruth further demonstrates how the writings of female authors offer a distinct viewpoint on their place in history. It was envisaged that this analysis could advance our understanding of women’s lives in patriarchal societies from feminist theoretical viewpoints.

Author Biographies

Zahraa Gamal Saad Mahmoud, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin

Faculty of Languages and Communication

Mohd Nazri Latiff Azmi, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin

Faculty of Languages and Communication

Isyaku Hassan, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin

Faculty of Languages and Communication


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