Female Homosocial Desire in Sarah Fielding's The Governess, or Little Female Academy (1749)1


NALANS: Journal of Narrative and Language Studies, vol.7, no.12, pp.78-90, 2019 (Scopus) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 7 Issue: 12
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Journal Name: NALANS: Journal of Narrative and Language Studies
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.78-90
  • Keywords: Female Homosocial Desire, Homosocial space, Sarah Fielding, The Governess or Little Female Academy
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


© 2019 Karadeniz Technical University. All rights reserved.This paper attempts to investigate the same-sex relationships of female characters in Sarah Fielding's The Governess, or Little Female Academy (1749) as represented in a controlled homosocial setting where homosocial desire is satisfied. This study refers to the concept of "homosocial desire" offered earlier by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick to analyse the female characters within the scope of homosociality and explores how "homosocial desire" is exemplified by the patterns of behaviour and discourses that female characters represented through a condensed milieu of subjective manifestations as well as instructed morals. The study argues that female homosocial desire is the primary motive in the acts, behaviors and decisions of female characters searching for a private medium in which they achieve transparent communication with mutual affection by constituting a community of intimacy between the same sexes. The study concludes that released, aroused, gratified or satisfied homosocial desire can be a power of transformation from chaos to harmony, which indicates the healing nature of fulfilled homosocial desire.