Sunday, 6 May 2012

mid victorian london

 The Victorian era is a trascendental historical period full of contrasts and contradictions: progressive and decadent, advanced and repressive at the same time, full of changes but with a very fixed and traditional structure.
This fundamental characteristic of the time reveals in a transparent way the portrait of
 the situation of women  in this context
The roles of men and women in the English society were very defined and they stayed unchanged during thehinton hunt infantryman
 XIX and the beginning of the XX century
. In general, man posesses virtue, morality, honesty, straightness and reason oposing to the image of the woman, sensitive, emotive and weak. The public sphere was dominated by the male figure and the private one by the female figure

 where she will become a woman.
         It is the middle class who establishes the correct behavior, based on virtue and respect and with marriage as the most respected institution and state for the individual: for man, because he had someone to take care of him and it guaranteed the descent; for woman, because she got her ideal state
, that of looking after and to serve to her husband and her children, once they are born, so as to say, motherhood. With this it was suposed that women would get happiness. Prefixed marriages, with father consent required, were still common, but it was also desirable love between both components. But not sexual love and carnal desire,  sex seeing just as the process to engender children. She was not allowed to show signs of greater intelligence than his husband’s in public. But women were educated for playing this role, they wanted this function. The price and aim of all women was motherhood
         The economical factor was the criterion of worth of individuals in this society. And it was this factor also which determinated and allowed achieve a good marriage, meaning good, in a high social status. Women were dependent of their fathers, first, and of their husbands, afterwards. This economical dependence  created problems when the husband went away from home, leaving her alone.
It was in this Victorian period, in 1857, when the first law of divorce was accepted in England. Divorce was on the everyday life of the victorian society, and it played a central role in some of the artistic works of the era, such as paintings and novels. Most of the causes were due to adultery, the femenine one the most serious, the easiest to prove and the most punishable. Legally, woman had no rights: she was seen as unable, dependent of a male figure. The second half of the nineteenth century witnessed a notable change in the legal status of child custody, and a transformation of domestic masculinity and the creation of a new ideal of fatherhood, a paternal love that was decisively different from a patriarch’s interest

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