Once Upon A Journey - Travel Narratives by Women: The Philosophical Observations of Mary Wollstonecraft and the Cultural Meme of Elizabeth Gilbert

Author: 
Date created: 
2015-10-15
Identifier: 
etd9234
Keywords: 
Mary Wollstonecraft
Elizabeth Gilbert
Technology of the Self
Travel Writing
Self Help
Women’s Identity
Abstract: 

This work analyzes travel writing by Mary Wollstonecraft and Elizabeth Gilbert to demonstrate that travel by women serves as a technology of the self or a means by which to attain a certain state of being. This examination of travel narratives from two different eras also reflects a shift in the nature of travel from a knowledge-expanding endeavour to a self-indulgent one prioritizing individual benefits. This emergent emphasis on travel as a means to self-improvement rather than self-understanding perpetuates traditional values, upholds the patriarchal system of male privilege, and undermines the struggle for women’s equality in an era of apparent female empowerment and self-sufficiency. This project also functions as a testament of the value of an academic journey, one based on thinking about and reflecting upon a topic of interest with greater insight as the final destination and reward.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
Rights: 
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes. Copyright remains with the author.
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Anne-Marie Feenberg-Dibon
Eleanor Stebner
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Liberal Studies Program
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.A.L.S.
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