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The Dawn Of Feminism Essay

1737 words - 7 pages

The Victorian era was a time when the rights that women are so accustom to today did not exist. In fact, this era was especially known for the stern code of morality that was placed on women. Men acted more like property owners when it came to women. Men viewed women as only useful to serve a few specific purposes, and other than that, they were virtually worthless. Women like Louisa May Alcott, were seeking a chance to explore their individual freedoms apart from men. Women weren’t granted the right to vote until 1919; however, Louisa May Alcott expressed early interest in the subject of women’s rights, having lived through this demeaning era herself. It was almost 50 years after writing her inspiring and revolutionary novel, Little Women, that women were finally and truly recognized as equals and in which the passageway to women’s rights was rightly unveiled. Louisa May Alcott’s life in a 19th century restrictive society led her to write feminist novels that ushered in the era of women’s rights.
During the Victorian Era, countless restrictions were placed on women, and equality was not a social norm. According to Margaret Strickland, “For Victorian women, the opportunity for employment was limited to roles sanctioned and contained by domesticity (governess, teacher, lady's companion/maid, etc.)” (Strickland). Nowadays women are admired for having the ability to fill various roles in the workplace, and it is deemed unconstitutional for a woman to not be given her rights. Women can be doctors, lawyers, businesswomen, congresswomen, etc. The list is endless, and the roles we play are no longer restricted to just a domestic life. This is what Louisa May Alcott was striving for; this individual freedom that is so easily attainable now. This was also the root of the problem that Louisa May Alcott was thoroughly infuriated by in her era. In addition, Strickland also says, “Alcott used her fiction to express her frustrations and anger about feeling captive in a male dominant society, and was sadly never able to break free from this in her own life (Strickland). Although she continued to be repressed by the male powers in her time, she was still able to immerse her opinions and experiences into her work and truly show the oppression of this era through stories reflecting her personal life. One could hardly even begin to fully understand the true injustice of living in this era. Women were put in a position of complete obedience to men who dominated every aspect of their world. As stated in an article, “Women were dominated by their sexuality, and were expected to fall silently into the social mold crafted by men, since they were regarded as irrational, sensitive, and dutiful. (Victorian Women). Because there was essentially no way for a women to make a living, or even survive without a man, women were fully dependent on men, which only allowed them to fall deeper into the black hole of oppression that men were maliciously creating for...

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