Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies

The Woman’s Body as Compensation for the Disabled First World War Soldier

Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies (2016), 10, (1), 53–70.

Abstract

The article discusses how gender and physical impairment were used together in British magazine fiction during the First World War. The discussion shows how wartime popular fiction uses a new trope of the woman’s body being given as a compensation to the soldier whose body has become impaired. The romantic fulfilment and social power of these stories depend on the reintegration of the wounded man into society through marriage, and the affirmation of his masculinity by the assertion of his marital suitability. The premise of the article is that fiction published during the war that features physical bodily damage is understudied yet contains a significant literary response to impairment.

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Macdonald, Kate