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Victorian Society: Why is the Figure of the Fallen Woman so Ubiquitous - Book Report/Review Example

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The author of the paper describes the image of a woman in the Victorian society on the examples from literature. The author states that it was a rigid, patriarchal society, where women were not ignored or downtrodden but were indulged and tolerated, and to some extent, venerated…
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Victorian Society: Why is the Figure of the Fallen Woman so Ubiquitous
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Download file to see previous pages "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). The condition of women was difficult and constricted. Either they were idealized or discarded. There was never a middle path. It was an age of transition from medieval to modern times when the prudish society was in 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 the 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 the late 18th and early 19th century societies. As the literature of any period would reflect the society itself, Victorian literature to presents itself in the societal framework. Fallen woman and prostitution had often been subjects of Victorian literature. A fallen woman in those days was the woman who had, or presumed to have had a 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, anorexia and even the harem women were all treated by society as fallen women. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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