The thesis is concerned with the work of two feminist writers. The conceptual tools of a socialist feminist critique are applied to the selected fiction of Edith Grossmann and Jean Devanny. Grossmann's novels were written in the late 1890's and early 1900's. Devanny's New Zealand novels were written in the late 1920's and early 1930's. The major aim of the thesis is to illustrate that the protest fiction of Grossmann and Devanny is inextricably linked to the realities of life for women, in the period within which they were writing. In contrast to traditional literary criticism, and to Marxist aesthetics applied in isolation, it sees the need to develop an understanding of the specific problems of women within capitalist patriarchy. The attempted synthesis of radical feminist and aspects of Marxist analysis points toward such a progressive development.