In What Way Does Gaskell Argue The Necessity Of Education For Girls And Women In Wives And Daughters?

2868 words - 11 pages

Wives and Daughters proved to be something of a departure for Gaskell. In many of her previous novels she had undertaken an examination of a social question such as the class disputes in Mary Barton or North and South, or the plight of a fallen woman and her illegitimate child in Ruth. From her earliest works her attention was always focused on the social and emotional problems of her women characters but in Wives and Daughters she writes a novel that is both a collection of brilliant character sketches which together form a novel about the joys and sorrows of the people of Hollingford, and the story of a young girl's growth and change, but it is also so much more than this, she also examines the theme of education for women.This was a particularly pertinent issue at the time of writing in the 1860's. The 1850's and 60's had seen real moves pressing for the admission of women into higher education. Higher education was extremely limited, with a mere five universities being established, none of which admitted women. The problem with this was that Britain was largely a patriarchal society and allowing women this level of education was likely to upset the status quo and that armed with this kind of knowledge it was perceived that women might start to become empowered.However the change had already started further down the social ladder, indeed in David Wardle's book 'English Popular Education 1780-1970' he states that,"The university extension movement of the 1870's and 1880's received much of its impetus from the demand by women for an education of genuine academic content and many of the men and women who were concerned in founding secondary schools and colleges for women who were also active in the emancipation movement"(1)By now many middle class girls were receiving an education, however the education tended to concentrate on how to be accomplished wives and hostesses.Gaskell, a Unitarian, had herself been educated at a boarding school in Warwickshire. The school, which taught modern subjects in a comfortable, domestic atmosphere, attracted the daughters of a number of Unitarian families. As Unitarians they did not believe that wives should be submissive to their husbands and Elizabeth certainly wasn't. Her husband, William encouraged his wife to develop her own talents and to assert herself in promoting them. In 'Wives and Daughters' Gaskell portrays a changing society, in which achievement will soon count for more than social position which confirms her belief that women should be educated to the full extent of their abilityThis explains Gaskell's satirical portrayal of Gibson, who although a well educated doctor is reluctant to educate his daughter in anything but the basics of a rudimentary education. Miss Eyre, Molly's governess, had the following instructions from Gibson, "Don't teach Molly too much; she must sew, and read, and do her sums; but I'm not sure that writing is necessary. Many a good woman gets married with only a cross...

Find Another Essay On In what way does Gaskell argue the necessity of education for girls and women in Wives and Daughters?

Elizabeth Gaskell’s "Wives and Daughters" Essay

1087 words - 4 pages resulted in a lawsuit by family and friends of Bronte. With critics delivering harsh words to Gaskell for annoyance about the plight of the poor, they could never deny her skills as a writer, which lead to her success as a writer. Her last novel was Wives and Daughters, which was published in 1864 by Cornhill Magazine. Another author had to finish the ending for her. Brief Summary of Wives and Daughters: Elizabeth Gaskell’s Wives and

Plight Of The Wives: The Role Of Wives In Ibsen's Dollhouse And Hedda Gabler

1071 words - 4 pages always have her name, her love for her pistols, and her lust for power. In order for Hedda to successfully escape the prison she resides in, she must take her own life. The act of suicide does is no more tragic or significant than Nora's departure, it is simply what needs to be done in Hedda's situation. Throughout both plays, the theme of escaping is present, and in both plays it is properly addressed by the character in an appropriate manner.In

Education for Girls in Africa and Its Impacts

2121 words - 8 pages distinction in their forms, these girl child policy frameworks have common concerns especially in the less developed continent Africa. Most importantly, the policy guidelines advocates for attitude change in favor of the girl and women education. Moreover, the policy guidelines recommends for the expansion of accessibility to gender sensitization on issues related to education for female teachers, managers and policy makers. Furthermore, the structured

"The age of the knowledge worker". What does this mean, and how might control methods and strategies differ as the job and workforce change in this way.

2092 words - 8 pages Knowledge Worker: who or what is it?A knowledge worker is one who generates a high proportion of wealth by leveraging his or her know-how. Being a knowledge worker does not mean that the worker must be involved in information technology economy. It is about whether the worker has a unique know-how;knowledge of a specialised industrial process qualifies just as much as knowledge of a process involving latest electronic hardware or software.In order for

Many Linguists argue that the way we use language is sexist. What evidence is there for this and do you agree?

654 words - 3 pages whether they are married or not. When women give their title it is obvious whether or not they are married. Feminists in the early 1970's proposed Ms as the female equivalent of Mr, and it is now well established. Now women who do not wish to advertise whether or not they are married do not have to use the old titles of Mrs or Miss. It also provides an option for women who are divorce as they are no longer married but still have been at one

The Outlook for Girls In Engineering and Mathematics

2201 words - 9 pages present as soon as girls hit more demanding classes like calculus. Grades will highly diminished and a fear for comprehension of mathematics in the future will develope. According to the article “Women and Minorities in Engineering” a major outlook on success from students is their ability to understand calculus. Aside from chemistry and physics, a one-year calculus sequence is a prerequisite for many engineering courses (Frehill). Bonsangue and

The Quick Liberation of the Wives in "The Storm" and "The Story of an Hour"

1490 words - 6 pages life could never return to the way they once were for her. Mr. Mallard's reentering the scene was just too much for Mrs. Mallard to take. Dying was the only way Mrs. Mallard could achieve her dream. Only in death was Mrs. Mallard finally free of all the tyranny and sorrow that she had. In theory, her fantasy does come true but only after a few moments of pain and suffering.In the stories "The Storm" and "The Story of an Hour", the two

The Necessity Of Bilingual Education In Our Society

1744 words - 7 pages The Necessity Of Bilingual Education In Our Society Bilingual Education has been a controversial subject within the educational system since its inception in 1974. It is of great importance to define the term "Bilingual" which is " The ability to speak and understand two languages". Included in this definition is the implied ability to transfer knowledge , skills and concepts from the first language to the second language148. It is

Insanity and the Necessity of Madness in King Lear

1841 words - 7 pages The Necessity of Madness in King Lear At the beginning of “King Lear,” an authoritative and willful protagonist dominates his court, making a fateful decision by rewarding his two treacherous daughters and banishing his faithful one in an effort to preserve his own pride. However, it becomes evident during the course of the tragedy that this protagonist, Lear, uses his power only as a means of projecting a persona, which he hides behind as

Experiences of Working-Class Women in the 1930’s as Depicted Within The Tin Flute and Breadwinning Daughters: A Comparative Essay

3725 words - 15 pages were not only seen as going against society’s expected life course for women - in which included education, wage-earning and, finally, marriage. Nonetheless, the derogatory words and the hostility felt by these women never changed their minds on remaining single. On the other hand, some women saw marriage as salvation; a ‘way out’ of a life plagued with unhappiness, drudgery and poverty. This sentiment was well presented by Florentine in The Tin

In what way or ways does Eliza change during the course of the play?

1082 words - 4 pages In what way or ways does Eliza change during the course of the play?Eliza Doolittle is introduced as a poor flowergirl. In the beginning of the play she is described as a neglected and unromantic figure of the play." Her hair needs washing rather badly," emphasizes her appearance.Beside that" She is as clean as she can afford to be".Her English is distorted by a very strong accent that everybody immediately classifies her in a low social

Similar Essays

How Does Caryl Churchill Present Women In Acts 2 And 3 Of Top Girls?

2137 words - 9 pages How does Caryl Churchill present women in Acts 2 and 3 of Top Girls. What types of characters are seen here? What is their purpose and how do they reflect the play's social implications?Caryl Churchill portrays a variety of contrasting characters in Acts 2 and 3 of Top Girls and by using the roles they play within society, she makes references to the influence of Thatcherite sensibilities and differing socialist and capitalist ideals in 1980's

Does Gender Make A Difference In Education In America In The Same Way As In Other Countries?

1766 words - 7 pages taught how to continue into adulthood with a career in either the missionary or another way to support his family and girls were taught how to support their husbands including domesticated skills such as sewing and how to care for their family. The girl’s education was preparation for marriage. This type of education for females remained largely unchanged for 200 years with some modifications according to Leach in her paper “African girls, nineteenth

The Power Of Daughters, Wives, And Mothers

1858 words - 7 pages engine for growth because the quality of education has vastly improved in these countries. In India, between 1997 and 2002, female-led firms grew by nearly 20 percent, while overall firms grew by just 7 percent. More women have started working in call centres and back-office businesses; they’ve begun living—for the first time in history, in large numbers—on their own. A study mentions a surprising fact that in India women form 11% of all CEOs

Elizabeth Gaskell's "Wives And Daughters" Essay

1738 words - 7 pages successful writing career, nor deny her talent as a writer. In her last work Wives and Daughters; Gaskell implements her satire writing style to examine social issues in England. In August of 1864, Cornhill Magazine published her first novel called, Wives and Daughters. Brief Summary of Wives and Daughters: In the story of Wives and Daughters, Molly Gibson is the much-loved daughter of a widowed town doctor. Dr. Gibson is yearning for a companion