Downtown Abbey: Victorian Values Essay

1377 words - 6 pages

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 mother were both supportive of ushering in the twentieth century. Matthew was supportive in ushering in the twentieth century because he was not interested in having footmen and servants waiting on him. He wanted to be more independent and be able to do things for himself, such as dressing and going places. Matthew was also different with his support of women gaining rights.
When Isobel came to Donwton, she wanted to find a place for herself in the community. She didn’t just want to be Matthew’s mother and sit around waiting for him to get married and then sit around her house alone. Isobel decided that she wanted to obtain a job to occupy her free time. Her husband had been a doctor and she had assisted him during the tie that he was in practice, so she learned quite a bit about the medical profession even though she had never been educated in the medical field. It was suggested that Isobel should go to the hospital for a tour and see if she would want to work and help the ill in the community.
Violet and members of the hospital objected to different treatments that Isobel offered to the hospital. Violet and the hospital board preferred to follow their daily routines and techniques of treating patients regardless...

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