StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

Victorian Society - Book Report/Review Example

Nobody downloaded yet
Society was so cautious about giving sexual freedom to women, because it thought that the fundamentals of family life would crumble with female sexual freedom. Great stress was laid upon marriage and a woman without marriage was abhorred.
"Taught that a husband was essential to their existence, and all their training directed to the art of catching one, they had the choice of being relegated to the ranks of abnormality if they did not marry, or being forced into what many regarded as degrading sexual competition, in which the losers faced economic hardship as well as social obliteration," Foster (1985, p.7).
Condition of women was difficult and constricted. Either they were idealised or discarded. There was never a middle path. It was an age of transition from medieval to modern times when the prudish society was at the throes of giving birth to a more modern social order. The Victorian society is described beautifully here:
"Middle-class outlook: Protestant work ethic, pragmatism, respectability, sobriety, frugality, industry, chastity, honesty, independence, etc. Commitment to the idea of pursuing social duty instead of personal pleasure Struggle over role of women: icons of ideal English daughter, wife, & mother vs. fallen woman, spinster, New Woman, femme fatale"
The sexual morality of the era was rooted in late 18th and early 19th century societies. As the literature of any period would reflect the society itself, Victorian literature too presents itself in the societal framework. Fallen woman and prostitution had often been subjects of Victorian literature. Fallen woman in those days was the woman who had, or presumed to have had sexual relationship outside marriage. Fallenness did not come only because of prostitution, but even the unmarried mothers, needlewomen, women without any means of living and earning, women coming from very low working class, demented women, alcoholics, childless, spinsters, slaves, anorexic and even the harem women were all treated by society as fallen women.

"Generally the term 'fallen woman' is used indiscriminately by the Victorian middle classes to describe any woman who has lost her chastity: the common prostitute, the 'kept' woman, the woman whose prostitution supplemented an insufficient wage and the innocent victim of a single seduction - all were categorised under this single heading regardless of the finer identifiable personal and social differences between each group," Morris (1993, p.49).

The discrimination comes mainly because they could not reach the social and sexual standards set by the society of the day. Society had rigid norms and rules for its female population and some of the writers of both the sexes did try to make a difference.

"When Jane Austen taught that sensibility without moral sense was dangerous, she was taking up a theme that was at the heart of a number of novelists. As later novelists would emphasize duty, writers of this earlier period were very much concerned with balance, a rational moderation that avoided extremes of action or feeling," Calder (1976, p.18).

. Victorian literat ...Show more


Having a much loved Queen Victoria as a long reining monarch, did not help British women in any way, in their quest of finding their voice. It was a rigid, patriarchal society, where women were not ignored or downtrodden, but were indulged and tolerated, and to some extent, venerated…
Author : corkeryeloy
Victorian Society essay example
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the book report/review on your topic
"Victorian Society"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Check these samples - they also fit your topic

Tess of the d'Urbervilles: A Pure Woman
The 19th century witnessed the emergence of naturalism in art and literature. This artistic approach attempted to depict the reality of existence in its most pure forms, generally involving the depiction of non-aristocratic laborers. One notices in the naturalistic impulse a rejection of the encroaching mechanized world and industrial values.
3 pages (750 words) Book Report/Review
Relationships towards women in XIX century: responding Frankenstein
Like Elizabeth Frankenstein, Mary's mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, died soon after childbirth, and like Elizabeth Frankenstein, from an early age Shelley was surrounded by famous philosophers, writers and poets, like Coleridge and Charles Lamb. So I can say that characters reflect available gender situation in society mixed with personal author's beliefs and experience.
5 pages (1250 words) Book Report/Review
Victorian Gender Relations
The assumption here is that the world of their novels would realistically represent social norms and mores.  As such, Victorian gender relations would be accurately represented and women would be portrayed in the subordinate social position that Victorian norms and mores had relegated them to.
9 pages (2250 words) Book Report/Review
Women Representation in Victorian Era Literature
Rejecting the repressive moral and aesthetic values of the Victorian era, writers began re-examining the institution of marriage and the traditional relations between the sexes in their novels. This re-examination, particularly by women writers, saw the emergence of new genres of women's fiction - women's 'sensation' novel of the 1860s and the 'new woman' novel of the 1890s - as well as the emergence of a 'new' kind of woman in literature and society, challenging the Victorian social ideals and perceptions of femininity.
6 pages (1500 words) Book Report/Review
Geder Inequality in Victorian Period
Why women are regarded like this and why these consequences come and what is the effect are described here. 2. Historically, numbers of women complainants in rape trials have been regarded with suspicion or prejudice, their credibility as witnesses seriously regarded with less importance.
4 pages (1000 words) Book Report/Review
Alices Adventures through Wonderland
Alice is not the demure, pleasant and obedient ideal of Victorian girlhood which some, such as Auerbach have identified her as (p. 63). She is, more accurately, a rebellious spirit who rejects the Victorian world, as evidenced in her descent into fantasy, and engages in the continued questioning of the virtues of her day, as is clear from her argumentative spirit and her refusal to accept things at face-value.
2 pages (500 words) Book Report/Review
Femininity in Victorian Literature
The legacy of Enlightenment1 and its attendant cult of Reason mingled with Foucault's assessment of it finds perfect illustration in Rhys' novel, while Pygmalion becomes a revolutionary cry for feminism amidst a Victorian rigidity of patriarchal discourses of religion, economics and history.
6 pages (1500 words) Book Report/Review
Humors and Satire in The Importance of Being Earnest
Wilde's dramatic repute rests more or less completely on The Importance of Being Earnest (1905), which is one of the finest examples of light and humorous satire in modern drama (Donohue, Berggren, pp. 90-98). Wilde's aesthetic intention varies significantly from the realists with whom he was a contemporary; the satire expressed in the Importance of Being Ernest is at once more pervasive and less bitter than the sharp social criticism of Ibsen or Shaw.
7 pages (1750 words) Book Report/Review
Victorian Era Poets
The placement of reason-driven social and career pursuits as the arena of men and the home or the domestic as that of women during the Victorian era, resulted in very conflicted notions of sex and sexuality. While the best of what the era's take on the power of love, whether sublime or tragic could be gleaned at least from Elizabeth Barret-Browning's Sonnets (passionate and sublime love of a woman) and Alfred Lord Tennyson's Lady of Shalot (where the poet's tone is all at once, objective, sympathetic and in awe of women's domestic lot) --- the conflict is evident in Aurora Leigh and Locksley Hall.
4 pages (1000 words) Book Report/Review
The Women of Middlemarch
Mary Ann's mother was Christina Evans (nee Pearson) a farmer's daughter, and her father-Robert Evans. She had four siblings-two brothers and two sisters. Of these, a brother and a sister much older, were from her father's previous marriage. Robert Evans was the manager of Arbury Hall Estate in Warwickshire.
4 pages (1000 words) Book Report/Review
Hire a pro to write
a paper under your requirements!
Win a special DISCOUNT!
Put in your e-mail and click the button with your lucky finger
Your email
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment
Let us find you another Book Report/Review on topic Victorian Society for FREE!
Contact us:
Contact Us Now
  • About StudentShare

  • Testimonials

  • FAQ

  • Blog

  • Free Essays
  • New Essays
  • Essays

  • The Newest Essay Topics
Join us:
Contact Us