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The Odd Women

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The Whirlpool George Gissing. New Grub Street George Gissing.

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The Odd Women Background | GradeSaver

The novel is titled after the millions of Victorian women left without a male partner. Their "odd" lifestyle can either be understood as an identity that is assigned by the lack of male partners or a choice one can make. The novel explores both possibilities, but one aspect of the plot Rhoda's decision not to marry Everard is a strong example of the latter.

Gissing's novel explores the financial and moral concerns for women in such a position while introducing a powerful feminist angle through the character of Rhoda Nunn. With the death of a father as the catalyst for a period of transition in a group of women's lives, Rhoda assumes the role of the male leader.

This arrangement allows Gissing to present a narrative of strong women who deserve respect. The Odd Women study guide contains a biography of George Gissing, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.