Warren As An Evil Whore Essay

2302 words - 10 pages

In Mrs. Warren’s Profession by George Bernard Shaw, the female protagonists are developed to rebel and challenge the patriarchal and the stereotypical cultural views they live in. Mrs. Warren’s Profession can be viewed as a 19th century feminist piece because it represents its female protagonists: Vivie and Mrs. Kitty Warren as being empowered by their sexuality and their intellectual, this went against the ideal women of the time known as the angel of the house. Although, second wave and third wave feminism ideas were developed in the late 20th century, Mrs. Warren’s Profession had these ideas already implemented in its characters. The text highlights the full potential of women by enabling ...view middle of the document...

Warren and Vivie it is important to notice that in London and in Britain most middle class women were spinsters while the lower class worked in factories exposing their lives to hazards while earning petty money. The role of Victorian women was socially constructed, and women were expected contain themselves inside the social frame. The ideal woman was supposed to be the angel of the house, and in order to keep that title she had to follow the social constructed idea which according to Gretchen Huey Barnhill it was that
[The] ideal Victorian Woman or the angel of the house' was defined by her role within the home because the family served as a sanctuary for the "preservation of traditional moral and religious values"(Zedner12). The qualities valued by Victorian society in the ideal female were submissiveness, innocence, purity, gentleness, self-sacrifice, patience, modesty, passivity, and altruism. The middle-class Victorian woman was to have no ambition other than to please others and care for her family (Zedner15). According to the Victorian ideal, a woman was to be "a monument of selflessness, with no existence beyond the loving influence she exuded as daughter, wife, and mother"(Auerbach185). (Barnhill 9)
This displays how the ideal woman was presented in the Victorian women, anything other than that according to Barnhill was seen as unacceptable and “Contrast to the Victorian ideal, the woman who contravened the idealized conception of womanhood, whether by sexual misconduct or criminal act, was viewed as deviant and unnatural. She represented an unsettling anomaly that both repelled and fascinated the Victorians” (Barnhill 10). Both Mrs. Warren and Vivie step out of the Angel of the House frame and present a new type of woman by going against the conventional ways of the ideal woman. In 1893 one year before Shaw wrote his play, Bolesław Prus wrote a novel called the New Woman that focused on the New Woman and changing social roles. Prus novel was composed, and appeared in newspaper serialization, in 1890-93, and dealt with societal questions involving feminism. The new woman term was a feminist idea that emerged in the late nineteenth century and had a profound influence on feminism well into the twentieth century. The term "New Woman" was popularized by British-American writer Henry James. This term was meant to describe the growth in the number of feminist, educated, independent career women in Europe and the United States. This New woman often stepped out of the social constructed frame to achieve power. The term "New Woman," was a figure that was supposed to represent the equivalence of heroes in literature and was intended to characterize women of affluence, sensitivity, and wealth as an independent spirits and taking actions on their own. The term always referred to women who exercised control over their own lives whether it was personal, social, or economic. These New Woman characteristics that are displayed by...

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