TRACING WELLS’S NEW WOMAN THROUGH THE WHEELS OF CHANCE AND THE WAR OF THE WORLDS

Brenda Tyrell

Abstract


Abstract. In two of his early novels, The Wheels of Chance (1896) and The War of the Worlds (1898), we see H. G. Wells coming to terms with the New Woman movement that was forming around him. I argue that this struggle manifests itself most strikingly in the development of two of his earliest female characters: Miss Elphinstone (in The War of the Worlds) and Jessie Milton (in The Wheels of Chance). This article examines the ways in which Jessie Milton represents Wells’s first attempt at portraying a New Woman in his oeuvre. Then the article draws upon notable differences between Jessie and Miss Elphinstone to argue that, although Miss Elphinstone appears far less frequently in her novel than Jessie does in hers, the former is still a more interesting and a more positive representation of the New Woman. In sum, this article explores how Miss Elphinstone and Jessie Milton demonstrate Wells’s shifting aesthetic and political attitudes towards the late- Victorian New Woman.


Full Text:

PDF

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.