The Femme Fatale in American Literature

by Ghada Sasa

Table of Contents



Chapter One: The Femme Fatale in American Naturalism: An Introduction

Background and Definitions of the Femme Fatale

Background and Definitions of American Naturalism

The Femme Fatale and American Naturalism

Chapter Two: Trina “took her place in the operating chair”: Trina Sieppe as Femme Fatale in Frank Norris’s McTeague

The Emergence of the Femme Fatale

Trina Wins the Lottery

Chapter Three: "I am yours truly": Caroline Meeber as Femme Fatale in Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie

The Formulation of the Femme Fatale

The Femme Fatale in Full Action

The Fall of the Femme Fatale

Trina and Carrie

Chapter Four: “A language which nobody understood”: Edna Pontellier as Femme Fatale in Kate Chopin’s The Awakening

The Imprisonment of Edna

Edna Breaks Free

McTeague, Sister Carrie, The Awakening: Trina, Carrie, and Edna

Edna's suicide

Chapter Five: “It had begun, a new life for Helga Crane”: Helga Crane as Femme Fatale in Nella Larsen’s Quicksand

Twentieth Century American Naturalism

The Plight of the Tragic Mulatto Figure

Helga Crane's Liberation

Chapter Six: Examples of Other Femmes Fatales in American Naturalism

Primary Bibliography

Secondary Bibliography



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