Women In Victorian Era Essay

Women In Victorian Era Essay

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During the Victorian era, women were viewed as the very opposite of what a man ought to be. In the words of John Stuart Mill, who published a criticism of the way society differentiated between males and females "The female sex was brought up to believe that its ‘ideal of character’ was the very opposite to that of men’s ‘not self-will , and government by self-control, but submission, and yielding to the control of others" to live for others; to make complete abnegation of themselves, and to have no life but in their affections.’” (171) Basically, women were expected to be sweet, docile, and man’s perfect helpmate.
Contrary to that belief, throughout the Victorian era the view of women began to change, at least in the mind of some. Women began to infiltrate themselves into the industrial world. One field that became increasingly dominated by women during the Victorian era was the world of writing. Many women were published during this century, although only a small number have been “canonized” or truly recognized as literature. The four most popular are doubtlessly the three Brontë sisters, and George Eliot. These authors were perhaps popular because of their subject matter, or perhaps because their works were analyzed and criticized from the beginning, whereas no attention was paid to the remainder.
These above mentioned notable authors often wrote about women in their traditional, and also non-traditional Victorian roles. Charlotte Brontë, for example, reflected the proper, meek demeanor in Jane Eyre, not only with Jane herself. Jane was the very contradiction of Mr. Rochester. Even when he is at his worst, during the final chapters, Jane takes it upon herself to care for him without thought of herself, and to be his tradit...


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...s her role as the proper Victorian woman despite Heathcliff’s presence.
The role of women in the Victorian Age was varied far and between. The “woman question,” is a commonly addressed question, which basically asked, “what was a ‘proper’ woman supposed to be like anyway?” Emily Brontë was not a “normal” woman either. Her characters are incredibly deep and powerful, she reflects them as very wild, independent, and socially “different” than what was considered o be “proper” for the time. Her works are much more vibrant than most from this period as well. As for me, I think that the propriety of a woman depends entirely on the woman, her circumstances, her background, and those she associates with. And truly, there is nothing wrong with a woman if she does not live up to what was socially considered to be normal for a Victorian woman. After all, what truly is normal?

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