What’s Her Name Again?

In Fantomina, the power of control lies in the constant change of Fantomina’s identity. Being able to hold Beauplaisir’s affection through her many different disguises is Fantomina’s way of controlling the relationship when she feels she has lost control and Beauplaisir’s interest. Each of her disguises have their own way of making money, which further asserts her control over the monetary world, which in this time would have been dominated by men. For example, being a prostitute, Fantomina is in charge of handling her own money and her intrigue is capable of holding Beauplaisir’s affection. When she becomes a maid, she is also capable of earning her own money and regains his affection.

The fact that Fantomina decides to change her appearance at all, instead of just whine about the loss of her lover, shows that she holds more power in the relationship. This also shows that she feels more powerful than other women in her time. This control over her exterior translates to control over Beauplaisir’s emotions.

Towards the end of the story, Fantomina has secured herself enough money through the control over her exterior and capability of handling money. She even has enough money to hire two “necessitous men” which in this time would have been bizarre. Just as she has control over the men she has hired. She also has earned complete control over Beauplaisir by earning his affection once again.¬†Even when Fantomina’s life seems out of control, she is able to keep her cool and get what she wants.

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