The Repression Of Women In Victorian Society As Shown In 19th Century Literature

1283 words - 5 pages

The Repression of Women in Victorian Society as Shown in 19th Century Literature
19th century literature reflects to a certain extent, several ways in
which women were repressed in Victorian society. They were considered
inferior to men, and given a stereotypical image, showing them as
gentle, loyal and angelic. They were rejected of any personal opinions
or independence, for these were only a man’s privilege. Class and
status also affected women of the era. Evidence for these and further
repressions can be found in the short stories of 19th century writers.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’, which relates
partially to her own personal experiences as a woman under her
husbands overwhelming influence. Charles Dickens’ story ‘The Black
Veil’ also displays a view on women, as does ‘The Monkey’s Paw’ by W.
W. Jacobs, which can be portrayed as a male-dominated narrative.
Comparisons and contrasts can be made between these two novels, and
‘The Yellow Wallpaper’.

‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ shows examples of men’s attitudes towards
women, as well as women’s responses to these attitudes. The story is
based on occurrences during Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s own first
marriage. The fact that the narrative is semi-autobiographical
slightly highlights this, as she describes her relationship to ‘the
yellow wallpaper’, as she falls deeper into what we know as post-natal
depression. This use of two narratives emphasises the woman’s mental
decline, as the third person narrative takes over towards the end. The
reader is given an insight into her slowly deteriorating mind as the
first person narrative, appears to become unreliable and almost
insane.

From the outset of the story it is apparent that men were inferior to
women in every aspect. The wife’s vivid imagination of a ‘haunted
house’ brings her husband to laugh at her. This is not seen as mockery
of her thoughts for ‘one expects that’. She also has personal
disagreements with her husband’s ideas, and feels ‘congenial work,
with excitement and change’ are forbidden things which would do her
good. However she has to conceal these opinions and emotions due to
her position, and is even restricted from writing them down on paper,
as she cannot in any way reveal them ‘to a living soul’. Because ‘what
is one to do’ when under the ideas of a ‘practical husband’. John is
referred to as ‘practical in the extreme’ and the fact that he is a
‘physician’ makes his authority over his wife even greater.

The story shows the wife’s opinions obliterated by her husband’s
unquestionable power over her actions, with which no consideration was
made to what she thought was best for her recovery.

‘The Black Veil’ can also relate to this ignorant attitude. From this
story, a naïve ‘young medial...

Find Another Essay On The Repression of Women in Victorian Society as Shown in 19th Century Literature

19th Century Women Depicted in The Story of an Hour

772 words - 3 pages Mrs. Mallard, from The Story of an Hour, is an excellent example of the oppressed women of the 19th century. Her reaction to the death of her husband highlights all the issues in the dominantly male society. There were stereotypes and specifically narrow duties of a woman during that time. Reacting with grief at first, the story shows the many fast paced reactions that bring to light just how binding life as a woman during the 19th century was

A Streetcar Named Desire: The Repression of Women in the 20th Century

1493 words - 6 pages A Streetcar Named Desire: The Repression of Women in the 20th Century. Feminist critics, are people who agree to the idea that gender differences are culturally determined, and not born with it, interpret literature as a record of male dominance; particularly the repression by men. The play A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams shows the attitudes of men who impose their will on women and try to convince them of their inferiority

The Legacy of Perceptions of Interracial Relationships as Demonstrated in Late 19th and Early 20th Century Black Literature and Events

2057 words - 8 pages The Legacy of Perceptions of Interracial Relationships as Demonstrated in Late 19th and Early 20th Century Black Literature and Events The history of interracial relationships in America is a painfully loaded issue which is still evolving in the consciousness of the 20th century. Because the first instances of sexual integration occurred under the institution of slavery, our understanding of them is necessarily beset with dominance, violence

Recurring Themes in 19th Century Russian Literature

2115 words - 8 pages ;ся») and a foil to Svidrigailov. The theme of duality, aided and abetted by polar Svidrigailov and Sonya, is key to Raskolnikov's development, Crime and Punishment, and to 19th century Russian literature as a whole. The juxtaposition of Russian traditional history and Western industrialist future is manifest in a shoal of common Russian literary themes. The Russian 19th century was characterised by an active forging of the future

How the Industrial Revolution Changed Society in the 19th Century

631 words - 3 pages The Industrial Revolution changed society entirely during the 19th century. It encouraged the transition from agricultural labor to industrial labor, such as factory work. With this transition came urbanization, great poverty, and class struggle. Industrialization led to a reduction in the living standards of workers, widespread malnutrition, and eventually the deterioration of one’s life expectancy. The factory workers were stuck in a

The Emergence of Appalachian Stereotypes in 19th Century Literature and Illustration

2139 words - 9 pages In the world of Appalachia, stereotypes are abundant. There are stories told of mountaineers as lazy, bewildered, backward, and yet happy and complacent people. Mountain women are seen as diligent, strong, hard willed, and overall sturdy and weathered, bearing the burden of their male counterparts. These ideas of mountain life did not come out of thin air; they are the direct product of sensational nineteenth century media including print

Women Authors of the 19th Century

3136 words - 13 pages invites people into her world of valuable life lessons that she had to learn the hard way. Louisa May Alcott gave us timeless fiction that captures our imaginations and our hearts. Elizabeth Oakes Smith wrote about women’s suffrage and sparked new ideas for a new, equal society. These women are just a handful of the great and controversial writers of the 19th century that have had a great impact in today’s society. Without these women and their tremendous talent for writing, we would not truly know what great literature is.

The Role of the Individual and Society in the Late 19th Century, Nationalism

1995 words - 8 pages The Role of the Individual and Society in the Late 19th Century, Nationalism A young boy of both German and Italian heritage opens a book on his ancestry. The earliest recordable links he can trace from his Italian and German roots are two tribes. The tribes are very similar in all aspects that he can discern. The German people have the same interests, occupations, religions, and traditions. Identical traits are seen in the Italian

Hard Times Depiction of the Position of Young Women in Victorian England Society

1249 words - 5 pages capabilities a woman has through her role as a mother, wife, and sister. With women in the role of a mother and wife they are provided with a superior ability to encourage and develop young males and husbands, which in turn will influence Victorian Society for the better. Works Cited Black, Joseph, et al. The Broadview Anthology of British Literature. Toronto: Broadview Press, 2006. Print. Dickens, Charles. Hard Times. Ed. Graham Law. Toronto: Broadview Literary Texts, 1996. Print. Ellis, Sarah Stickney. The Daughters of England: Their Position in Society, Character and Responsibilities. London: Fisher, 1842. Print.

How does Dickens convey a portrait of society in 19th century in the first 17 chapters of "Great Expectations"

732 words - 3 pages Dickens paints a portrait of 19th century society by not telling us but showing us what he wants us to see. To show us this he uses characters from the criminal, lower and upper classes to dramatise each class. Dickens shows us the lower classes mainly by use of the Gargery family as his example of a typical lower class family, but also uses a few other people in conjunction with the Gargery's. For example he shows us that there was a lack of

19th Century Literature

567 words - 2 pages "The only thing necessary for triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" (Edmund Burke). When good and honorable men allow evil to endure because they don't stand up for the just thing, then that is when evil truly does take over. Writers of the 19th century witnessed this scenario over and over again. Men knew that slavery and women not being able to vote were the wrong thing, yet many did little or nothing about it. Stanton, Douglass, and

Similar Essays

Women Of Australia In The 19th Century

806 words - 3 pages . Soon there were more womens that actully did started to come then she really expected. Caroline Cholism really did make a big diffreence in balance of population in Australia in the Mid 19th century.Although Women in the 19th century in Australia was treated as a second class citizens, Which meant that they were not allowed to vote, could not sit in juries, reacived unfair treatment from the law eg, What every money that she owned before marriage

Women And Work In The 19th Century

902 words - 4 pages During the 19th century, change was in the air. Industrialization, involving the movement of labor and resources away from agriculture and toward manufacturing and commercial industries, was in progress. As a result, thousands of women were moving from the domestic life to the industrial world. During the 19th century, the family economy was replaced by a new patriarchy which saw women moving from the small, safe world of family workshops or

Women In The Late 19th Century

1378 words - 6 pages seen as appropriate and advertise the efforts made towards gender equality. When concerning the home front of 19th century Europe, women were “the cult of domesticity” and were highly regarded as wives, mothers, and part of the working class. A lofty character was necessary in completing the demanding tasks surrounding the home life. Images of women ranging from newspapers to fine art all displayed the universal theme that the duty of women was

American Capitalist Society In The 19th Century

1463 words - 6 pages Herman Melville’s Utilization of Bartleby the Scrivener: the Story of Wall Street As a Means of Criticizing Capitalism and Its Crimes Against Humanity Herman Melville's "Bartleby, The Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street" scrutinizes the alienation of labor, the social ideologies and the dehumanizing consequences of the American capitalist society in the 19th century. Bartleby is the main character in the story. The other characters