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2017

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Arts and Humanities

Hollins University

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An Impossible Standard: The Virgin Mary And The Construction Of Southern Womanhood, Dean Symmonds Apr 2017

An Impossible Standard: The Virgin Mary And The Construction Of Southern Womanhood, Dean Symmonds

Undergraduate Research Awards

This paper examines Southern literature about white women in its religious and cultural contexts to illuminate the deeply embedded connections between the figure of the Virgin Mary and the archetypes of the white Southern Belle and Dixie Madonna, and reveal both a complex web of cultural constructions designed to control, critique, and constrain Southern women, and how women use those constructions to free themselves.