Downtown Abbey: Victorian Values Essay

Downtown Abbey: Victorian Values Essay

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Downton Abbey shows the need to leave the Victorian era behind to usher in twentieth century values because women wanted to choose their own life paths rather than following tradition. However, numerous people associated with Downton believed that maintaining tradition had more of an importance than moving on with the twentieth century. During the first season of Downton Abbey, there were many instances where the viewer could see the conflict between characters who wanted the Victorian period values to be cherished and maintained, while others wanted change. During the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century in England, many believed that society was moving too fast and that Victorian values should be valued.
In Downton Abbey, many of the older characters thought that their life style should be maintained and that change is not a benefit to society. This is shown when the one servant, Gwen is found to have a typewriter in her room and has been taking lessons for typing. Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes along with O’Brien were some of the older servants that believed that she should continue to be a servant because of the thought that she would not be able to make it as a typist, especially when she had the prestigious job of being a servant at Downton. In contrast the younger servant, Gwen thought that learning how to type and becoming fairly decent typist was important so that she could become a typist rather than spending her life as a servant. The youngest Crawly family member, Lady Sybil also supported Gwen by assisting her Gwen with searching for a job as a typist as well as accompanying Gwen on her job interviews.
Isobel and her son Matthew came to Downton for Matthew to try to become Mary’s suitor. Matthew and his ...


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...re required to wear skirts and dresses. Her family was not supportive of her new wardrobe mainly because it was not typical for women to go against the typical clothing choice for women.
There are many instances throughout season one of Downton Abbey where it can be seen that there was a need to leave the Victorian era to usher in the twentieth century and leave Victorian values behind. This is often correlated with the women in Downton Abbey trying to follow their own life choices rather than following tradition. Women wanted to try to change their own lives to better their lives. Not all women wanted to just follow in the footsteps of their parents because they wanted to do something that was more interesting to them.




Works Cited

Downton Abbey. Writ. Julian Fellowes. Perf. Hugh Bonneville, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern. 2010. PBS, 2011. Amazon Prime.

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