This is the mindset that permeates both Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest and Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler. Both plays, having been written at the end of the 19th century, offer insight into how this societal pressure creates an environment in which women face a particularly large amount of pressure to find wealthy, suitable husbands rather than ones they truly love. This issue of marriage being classified as business is best summed up in The Importance of Being Earnest when Algy, after having learned Jack intends to propose to Gwendolyn, remarks, “I thought you had come up for pleasure…? I call that business” (Wilde
Amanda Wingfield is an integral component of understanding why this occurred. The Glass Menagerie placed a large emphasis on Amanda’s role in order to exemplify the role women were forced to fill before the 1960s. Their expectations to be perfectly fit, multi-talented, and obedient were too much to handle. Were straight, married men ever held to these expectations? Never.
As men had "no more brains than women". She finally found out that women were the reason for that as they did not own any money. It was because at that time, husbands controlled everything that their wives had. In 1883, the international council of women had been formed by Susan Anthony and her friend Stanton with other delegates of women movements in
Viola’s aspirations are not to go against the social order as she is not a real servant but the play allows her to transgress and glide through the class mobility. She epitomizes social fluidity, transgressing the boundaries of specific roles in society. However her flexibility is asserted on her higher social status with which she begins the play. This once again proves that although the boundaries can be broken, only the elite bourgeoisie can truly permeate them completely. Malvolio remains ‘mad’ for admitting his love while Viola moves upwards to gain marriage.
Throughout Edith Wharton’s Transcendental novel, Age of Innocence, she creates a complex society based on social norms. During this work, Wharton suggests that power is based on wealth and that an individuals’ potential is limited to some extent by the strict rules of upper class New York society. For instance, the elites of New York refuse to let Ellen Olenska into their society because she is a woman who left her husband. These New Yorkers are worried that they will be breaking the social code by having an outcast as an acquaintance. Ellen’s struggles in fitting into society depicts the fact that one cannot ignore all social norms and be accepted by anyone worried about their own status.
Matrimony in eighteenth and nineteenth century England played a significant role in the lives of women. In hopes of obtaining a secure financial future, women often dedicated their lives to marrying wealthy men, without any regard to mutual affection. Wollstonecraft condemned such marriages, arguing instead that marriages should be based on true friendship. As Wollstonecraft affirms, “Friendship is a serious affection; the most sublime of all affections, because it is founded
The ‘New Woman’ was an ideal that sought a woman’s individual control over the outcome of her life, whether that was in personal, social, or economic realms. This is contrasted greatly with the Victorian ideal of a woman. Before the turn of the twentieth century, women were viewed as a man’s property and were expected to be angelic, weak, and subservient beings. Though America did not follow all of Britain’s social movements, many in the higher classes tried to achieve the ideal of being a Victorian ‘lady.’ The ‘New Woman’ movement went hand in hand with the suffragists’
She states a more modern view upon the subject about the female role in society where she states a desire that women should be able to do the same things as men, without a judgemental view from society. This view of gender roles was controversial in the Victorian era, but Jane Eyre represents a new and fresh feature in the early feminist movement with a more equal view upon the subject. Though, upon the marriage with Mr. Rochester, Jane shows another side of her feministic character. The independent Jane, starts to question her role in the marriage. Jane hated that Mr. Rochester bought pretty jewelleries and dresses for her;” the more he bought me, the more my cheek burned with a sense of annoyance and degradation” (Brontë, 321).
In the Victorian era, gender inequality was daily life. Men were most often the dominant power in a relationship whereas women were expected to be pure and innocent. In an era of arranged marriages, women belonged to their husbands and were attached to their households. However, Wilde has questioned these gender roles and created rather independent and powerful female characters in the play. Though Lady Bracknell and Jack have to give their consent as an approval of marriage to their wards, Gwendolen and Cecily, women show dominance over men in each relationship.
Brontë exploits this issue in “Jane Eyre” by showing this darker side of society through the enigmatic Edward Rochester and his lustful family. - Edward is an economically independent man with a favorable status and influential connections still looking for a profitable match. Jane will be the one in charge to unmask him to the audience: “I saw he was going to marry her [Blanche Ingram] for family, perhaps political reasons, because her rank and connections suited him” (Brontë 205) This manner of conduct converts Mr. Rochester from a hero into a villain, a perpetrator and “his project of
Primary sources are imperative in building a picture of 19th century Britain as they give us a first-hand insight into what life may have being like during the Victorian age. Upper, Middle and lower-class women in Victorian society had a very limited role, however had very different lives depending on wealth. Upper-class women had everything they needed finest clothing, servants and enjoyed everything money could offer however, had very little power. The lower-class women had less choice and although could never rise to an upper-class standing unless through marriage, they had some opportunity to rise beyond the lowest areas of society through work, becoming a prostitute or possibly a kept woman. The explosion of the Industrial Revolution
The Psychological Development of Miss Havisham One common aspect between different people in society is how time and circumstance significantly impacts an individual’s entire life. Although this situation may not exactly correlate to the development of Charles Dickens’ classic novel of personal growth and improvement, Great Expectations, many characters such as Miss Havisham constantly changes throughout the story. In the novel, the protagonist, Pip, develops the idea after meeting Estella and Miss Havisham that he is meant for greater things, deciding that he needs to become a gentleman. However, Miss Havisham, a wealthy spinster, is determined to manipulate Estella to break Pip’s heart in order to quench her thirst for revenge. Although Miss Havisham begins as a reclusive and mad woman, she was once youthful and filled with hope before her heart-breaking experience causes her to change into a bitter and regretful woman.
Finding a partner for marriage during the Regency era was through courtships, and courtship were more based on the money and same social classes. Do not considered as marrying below themselves. When Lady Catherine heard about her nephew Darcy fall in love with Elizabeth which she was in the lower social class as him, she told Elizabeth, “My daughter and my nephew are formed for each other. They are descended on the maternal side, from the same noble line;”. Lady Catherine’s metaphor demonstrated that she thinks Elizabeth is too poor to marry Mr Darcy.