In the Victorian Era people were restricted by an abundance of societal rules, and were mainly separated by class. Marriage was influenced by the social advantage that could be gained, while morality was set to strict standards, which were very contradictory. In this time period the interest in the supernatural also developed, but was prone to considerable controversy. Attitudes expressed, in literature, during the Victorian Era towards love, morality and the supernatural are still present in some works of the world today. The paragraphs that ensue will provide an analysis of various pieces of literature and movies that will present a comparison of these similarities.
During the Victorian Era, people did not focus on love when the time came to contemplate a proposal. To even consider a marriage, the prospect was required to have a suitable fortune and maintain a certain status in society. In the Victorian Era, women were forced to rely on the income of men while they maintained the home and bore children. Nonetheless, years of marriage often brought forth an intense feeling between husband and wife that some would consider deeper than love.
On the other hand, all through Victorian literature, there were numerous accounts of Victorians desiring love instead of those financial commitments. Love, in Victorian literature, was expressed openly, deeply and with great importance. For example, in Jane Austin’s “Pride and Prejudice” she expresses “…love as something independent of these social forces…” (SparkNotes Editors) . This is indicative that true love is an unstoppable force that does not discriminate against social status or financial stations. Throughout this novel, love develops between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy regardless of the initial impression that they form about each other. The two characters have vastly different social classes in a time of great social restrictions, yet their love flourishes without either of them realizing it. This is expressed when “Elizabeth realizes that her opinion of Darcy has changed so completely that if he were to propose to her again, she would accept.” (SparkNotes Editors).
In the works of today, this attitude toward love is still very much the same. Love remains expressed as an unstoppable force, between two people, that can overcome all obstacles. One example of this comes from the movie “The Notebook” by Nicholas Sparks. In this movie, the characters Noah and Allie are also from two different social classes, yet still fall deeply in love with one another. Allie’s mother adamantly attempts to keep them apart because she believes that Noah is not good enough for her daughter.
Furthermore, the two are forced to separate, but years later are reunited. Still deeply in love with one another they face a few more obstacles; such as, Allie’s engagement to another man, and once again her mother; before they are finally married. In the end, one final issue arises for their love, because Allie suffers from memory...