Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Tessie Prakas

Reader 2

Thomas Koenigs

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© 2018 Emma Cornwell


Margaret Cavendish, a female author of two utopian texts: “The Convent of Pleasure” and The Blazing World, seems to subvert the gendered binary of utopian writing and even of utopian characters. Although she is a female author herself and her works are, in one manner, continuous with the feminine mode of utopian writing because they suggest that her utopias are better than the world in which we live and that we ought to emulate them, Cavendish is not completely in line with this mode. Indeed, she also utilizes components of the masculine mode of utopian writing. The main character of The Blazing World, the Empress, despite being female herself, can eventually be categorized as a typical male utopian character. But again, she is not completely in line with the masculine mode of utopian writing either. Therefore, Cavendish ultimately exists outside of this gendered binary by drawing strategies from both of them.