The Way from Ellen Glasgow’s Major Novels to Magnum Opus Barren Ground and Analysis of its Protagonist’s Character
The purpose of the present paper is to show the passage from Ellen Glasgow’s first novels to her Magnum Opus Barren Ground. The goal of the article is to link the themes and characters appearing in some of her key novels to Barren Ground’s central character, Dorinda Oakley and to analyze her multifaceted nature. The analysis is based on qualitative research using critical sources and literary texts. The latter are mainly used while showing the creative way from the first novel to Barren Ground, while the former are utilized to analyze Dorinda’s character.
The article discusses a number of Glasgow’s significant novels dealing with women’s dilemma between their duties and self-realization, specifically mentioning the so-called ‘women’s trilogy’ in which feminist themes and issues are of primary focus. These are seen as the stage directly preceding Barren Ground with their heroines viewed as predecessors of Dorinda Oakley. Dorinda’s character is analyzed further with the focus on three different facets of her personality associated with religion, vocation, and love. The main conclusion made is that these facets of Dorinda’s character manifest themselves in her activities stemming from the understanding of her mission proceeding from her religious background and finding its realization of her vocational activities after failing in and ultimately rejecting happiness in love.