Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Germanic & Slavic Languages & Literature

First Advisor

Ann Schmiesing

Second Advisor

Davide Stimilli

Third Advisor

Elias Sacks


One of Fanny Lewald's first published works, the 1841 Modernes Märchen, stands out for being a fairy tale in the bibliography of an author not normally known for works of the fantastic. Nonetheless, it is a window into the development of Lewald's social criticism, exploring issues of women's emancipation through a blend of realism and fantasy. This thesis analyzes how Fanny Lewald's story of a young girl's courtship by two fish in the guise of men demonstrates both the potential for women's emancipation as well as its limits.