6 Pages


ByJulie Lokis-Adkins

This conclusion presents some closing thoughts on the key concepts discussed in the preceding chapters of this book. The book establishes that widows are of major importance both as a social demographic at the end of the nineteenth century and as a particular aspect of representation in the fin-de-siecle novel. It emphasises that Rachilde's writing evokes despair and destruction as the dominant aspects of human experience, or, more specifically, the female condition, and it is clear that Rachilde does employ certain techniques that encourage readers to identify with her heroines. The book examines that the novels have brought to light many of the challenges that fin-de-siecle women faced in establishing both their sexual and social freedom from traditional patriarchal control. By challenging the acceptable boundaries of nineteenth-century fiction, Rachilde, more than any other fin-de-siecle female writer, suggests that the most provocative and radical voice belongs to a woman.