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«Verfasserin Julia Lackermayer angestrebter akademischer Grad Magistra der Anglistik und Amerikanistik (Mag.phil) Wien, im Oktober 2008 ...»

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In the further process, however, matrimony seems to lose some of its status as the sole means for a woman to lead an honourable and satisfactory life. Rachel Arbuthnot and Freda Studdenham both decide against marriage because it would not agree with their principles. By degrees, personal fulfillment, it could be argued, becomes more important than traditional conventions. Furthermore, society itself appears to be less quick to judge women on the grounds of their deviation from the Victorian ideal of womanhood. Consequently, the concept of the Fallen Woman ceases to exist.

Instead, a new model of femininity begins to emerge. At the beginning of the 20th century, the New Woman is gradually not ridiculed anymore, but perceived as a paradigm. Like Syndey Forsyth, Fanny Hawthorn, or Edith Stott, she is a capable and self-determined woman, who even outshines men. She can choose to have a career or to have an affair without being married. It has to be admitted, though, that certain limitations still apply. Fanny, for example, does have a sexual relationship, but is later cast out by her parents, and Sydney and Edith both do have jobs, but they work in domains that can be considered typically female.

Nonetheless, socio-cultural changes in the perception of women undoubtedly took place over the period of roughly fifty years covered in this thesis, and the dramatic works taken into consideration certainly reflect upon them. Due to the endeavours of the women’s movement and its supporters, a woman was definitely freer to

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