This thesis examines the protagonists of three of Bowen's novels and analyzes the way in which they struggle to form an identity. All of the characters in this study lack the personal agency necessary to lead fully realized adult lives, and several of them develop compensatory behaviors to mitigate their lack of identity. In To the North, sisters-in-law Emmeline and Cecilia Summers counterbalance their weak sense of identity by employing strategies of personal withdrawal and public performance, respectively. These women attempt to achieve a sense of self through their relationships with men, and neither is successful in doing so. Karen Michaelis from The House in Paris allows her sense of social class to serve as a substitute for developing her own identity. Karen's failure to realize a measure of autonomy in her life outside of social convention results in a poignant paradox. She feels compelled to rebel by giving birth to an illegitimate child and then lapses back into her old mode of conformity, which compels her to abandon the child. The realistic and omniscient narrative style of these two novels from Bowen's early period permit the reader ingress into the characters' thoughts and feelings, whereas her final novel, written almost thirty years after the The House in Paris, employs a more modernist technique in which the narrator is distanced from the story. Bowen's change in technique has been discussed by several contemporary critics: Chris Hopkins, Allan Hepburn, and Andrew Bennet and Nicholas Royle all comment on the way in which Bowen's mode of narration from 1930s to the 1960s focuses the reader's attention on the characters' actions rather than their thoughts. This is true of the eponymous Eva Trout from Bowen's final novel who has no stratagem in place to balance out her lack of identity, although she is the only one of the four women who experiences any kind of success as she strives to create a sense of selfhood. Eva travels far and wide in her attempt to gain a sense of who she really is, but it is not until she travels within herself that she is able to find out. Through her adoption of Jeremy and the love she grows to feel for him, Eva begins fashioning a sense of her own identity.