Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Christine Crockett

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Embedded within various works of Eighteenth-Century literature lie themes regarding how the protagonists of these stories pursue their own versions of happiness. This thesis examines how characters from a wide variety of Eighteenth-Century novels engage with their surroundings, often resisting the dominant social structures of the time, to fashion more fulfilling lives for themselves. From Robinson Crusoe to Elizabeth Bennet to Frankenstein's monster, these characters come from a wide variety of backgrounds but all reveal several unifying themes. They seek out personal connections rather that striving to fulfill antiquated social expectations and they focus on their own agency, rather than circumstances out of their control. Their respective journeys are often fraught with peril, but each one is a journey worth embarking on.