Domesticity and Motherhood

Katherine Pickering Antonova

in An Ordinary Marriage

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199796991
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979721 | DOI:
Domesticity and Motherhood

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This chapter compares the Chikhachevs’ gendered roles at home to Andrei’s journalism about “the importance of the mistress [khoziaika] of the house,“ examining the interplay between rhetoric and reality in the Chikhachevs’ reception of the western European ideology of separate spheres and domesticity. The chapter argues that Andrei’s adoption of a veneer of separate spheres in his rhetoric while simultaneously urging his readers to teach their daughters to be estate managers suggests the limits to which western domestic ideology was applicable in provincial landowning society as well as the readiness with which gentry men, at least, casually employed the terms of that ideology. The chapter also addresses the apparent absence of motherhood in Natalia’s written legacy, and argues that motherhood was interpreted in this family largely as meeting the materials needs of the whole family and their dependents.

Keywords: motherhood; domesticity; separate spheres; masculinity; femininity; gender; women; reception of ideas

Chapter.  11313 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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