Chariton’s novel, Callirhoe, is arguably the first romantic story ever written in novel form. It is the story of a young woman who is stolen from the loving embrace of her young husband, and the trials that her husband endures while trying to regain her. Very little literature has been devoted to this genre, as it was, for centuries, regarded as inferior literature.
This is unfortunate, as there are a number of interesting themes within Callirhoe which deserve further analysis. One of these themes, and the theme which I chose for my analysis, is the role that the heroine in the novel, Callirhoe, plays. I analyze Callirhoe’s role as a prize, possession, and object in the novel, and how she is used as a symbol of the status of whichever man is in possession of her. These roles dehumanize Callirhoe much in the same way that modern advertising dehumanizes women. Modern advertising uses many of the same roles that Chariton uses to achieve this dehumanization. Using textual evidence and my own ideas, I offer proof of Chariton’s portrayal of Callirhoe in this manner and its similarities to the portrayal of women in modern advertising.
Monica Anderson, ’01 Colstrip, MT
Majors: Psychology, Women’s Studies
Sponsor: John Gruber-Miller