The Mill On The Floss And Middlemarch Analysis

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The Victorian Age has been a period of great contradictions. In fact, even if people witnessed to one of the most progressive age in history (intellectually and technologically speaking), society was still characterized by bigot conventions. George Eliot captures this complex age, by describing the way of life of the emerging middle class. Particularly interesting, is the way she portrays gender roles and stereotypes. While men find freedom and power in economic success, women become even more subjected and alienated. By focusing on the role of women in The Mill on the Floss and Middlemarch, it is possible to understand how Victorian ideals influenced her writing, and how in a way, Eliot seem to subvert these paradigms. In fact, her novels’…show more content…
To see such a creature subdued by love for one would be a lot worth having” (Eliot, The Mill on the Floss). In The Mill on the Floss, the female character in opposition to Maggie, is her cousin Lucy Deane. Even if her character is not developed in detail the difference between the two is significant. Lucy is the incarnation of Victorian beauty and expectations. She is kind and always acts keeping in mind social conventions and…show more content…
In this perspective, women are an extension of men, and their actions reflect on the latter. Characters like Lucy and Rosamund represent the ordinary suffering tied to being a woman. Even if, they do not seem completely aware of it. Their only fulfillment is within the domestic walls. They accept their role as Victorian women and receive an education aligned to their expectations. This is one of the main themes in George Eliot’s work, the constant struggle for women to get an education comparable to the one offered to men. Therefore, education become an additional tool to reinforce and legitimize the differences among men and women. However, the character of Rosamund allow an additional insight on the matter. In fact, when Lydgate, her husband, asks her to take more responsibility within the maintenance of their household, Rosamund determinately refuses. On one side, we might consider the issues solely tied to Rosamund’s selfish nature. However, if contextualized in the analysis that has been drawn, her reaction gain also a social meaning. At that time, women were uneducated to take care of themselves, they expected their fathers or brothers, and eventually husbands, to take care of them. Therefore, women were not independent but constantly subjected to the male figures. Women seemed to lack the possibility to define and build their own
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