Examples of Women and Femininity in Victorian Literature

Mind Map by ameliaalice, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by ameliaalice almost 5 years ago


AS level Literature Mind Map on Examples of Women and Femininity in Victorian Literature, created by ameliaalice on 04/04/2015.

Resource summary

Examples of Women and Femininity in Victorian Literature
1 Dramas
1.1 'A Doll's House' - Henrik Ibsen
1.1.1 Nora has often been painted as one of modern drama's first feminist heroines. She breaks away from the domination of her husband. 'Surely you can see that being with Torvald is like being with Papa'. Nora has been under the thumb of a man her whole life. Nora: 'What do you consider my most sacred duties?' Torvald: '...Your duties to your husband and your children.' Nora: 'I have other duties just as sacred. (...) Duties to myself.' This idea of completely scandalous during Ibsen's time. The thought that a woman might have a value besides homemaking and being a mother was outrageous.
1.1.2 Ibsen intended for the play to be humanist rather than feminist. Yet there's constant talk of women, their roles and the price they pay for breaking them.
2 Prose
2.1 'Jane Eyre' - Charlotte Bronte
2.1.1 Jane has a strong moral sense between what is right and wrong.
2.1.2 Jane stuggles continually to overcome suppression and achieve inequality. She has to fight patriarchal domination- against those who believe women to be inferior to men.
2.1.3 Mr Brocklehurst, Mr Rochester and St. John Rivers all try to keep her in a submissive position, where she is unable to express her own thoughts and opinions.
2.1.4 'it is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than what custom has pronounced necessary for their sex'.
3 Poetry
3.1 'The Ruined Maid' - Thomas Hardy
3.1.1 A dialogue between two women who bump into each in the street. The first speaker (an unnamed woman) comments on Amelia's new clothes and look. Amelia responds with a short, semi-snobby retort - usually ending in 'Well, I'm ruined'. It ends with the other woman wishing she to had all the nice things that Amelia has. 'I wish I had feathers, a fine sweeping gown'. Women knew what femininity was.
3.1.2 Hardy never really had a good thing to say about the role of women.
3.1.3 He's opening up the question: should women just be content with their lot in life?
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