Charles Dickens' Attitudes Towards Women

1478 Words Apr 22nd, 2010 6 Pages
Dickens’s Attitudes Toward Women In the early nineteenth century, women were the sole possession of the male in charge. Trained to be elegant and submissive, wives were merely there to compliment their husbands and their families in general. However females presented themselves depicted the line from which they came, and their mannerisms functioned as a representation of the man with which they lived. These sorts of practices were typical in the 1800’s, and women seemed to be more of a source of entertainment, distraction, and satisfaction than anything else. Not before the mid-1840s did Dickens begin to view society in its organic wholeness. (Johnson) In short, Dickens opinions and attitudes directed towards women spring from an …show more content…
The second topic I am going to discuss is that of the rights and perhaps the individuality of a woman in Dickens’s time, compared to now. In the early nineteenth century, women had minimal rights. They could not do most of what any man could do socially, and politically. Under English common law, when a man and women were married, the husband gained control of all that his wife owned, and personally managed all of her property however he pleased. In turn, the man was obliged to support his wife. Women were not given the right to speak out under any circumstance or any kind of authority over any man. Women were to be kept by their husbands, without any rights of their own, and that was the law. They were as caged birds, with no freedom. This did not sit well with many women. Finally, they began to speak out. English women of both upper and lower class began to speak out, including Barbara Leigh Smith, who authored her nation-wide publication, A Brief Summary, in Plain Language, of the Most Important Laws concerning Women, in 1854. (Wojtczak) Women of the day thought it was time to show society that they did have voices, and that they could use them. It took years, but eventually, their cries were heard, and women were given the right to vote. They were also given a small amount of equality rights which allowed them to have the same standing as men in very few areas. Also, laws such as The Married
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