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Social Changes In The Victorian Period

Decent Essays
The Victorian Period was a great influence to the authors who composed novels at that time where distinctions between social classes as well as between men and women were strongly marked. During this period, it was precisely a woman who ruled. Alexandrina Victoria who was born on May 24, 1819 became Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from June 20, 1837 until her death on January 22, 1901. Victoria’s reign was one of the longest of a female in history. At only the age of 18, after her uncle William Henry IV died, she began a span of 63 years of reign. In spite of her independence and power, Victoria fell into a deep depression when her husband died in 1861 and ever since she wore black every day for the rest of her…show more content…
During Victoria’s reign there were changes of great importance economically, socially, and technologically. London had a rapid growth from a 2 million to a 6.5 million population by the time of Queen Victoria’s death, due to a significant change. As a result of the industrialization, instead of a life based on ownership of lands, England was transformed to a modern economy. Based on trade and manufacturing they changed from an agrarian society in 1800’s with 75% rural to an industrial society by the 1900’s with a 75% modern urban economy. Socially, there were extreme discriminations especially between men and women. Consequently, women were not eligible for a higher education, employment and were denied the right to vote. Gradually and by the end of Victoria’s reign, women won significant political and legal rights. These included a greater access to education, the custody of children, economic independence and were able to work under fair conditions. Definitely, the Victorian Period was an era of dramatic changes that highly developed England’s power and…show more content…
At the beginning of the Victorian Period, both single and married women’s rights were limited. The changes during this era in the identity of genders are represented in the characters the author Wilkie Collins describes. For example, Marian Halcombe is characterized as strong and predominant. She is Laura’s voice when regarding to her husband and protects her throughout the story. Although Marian knows her role as a woman in society, she disapproves with the beliefs of the era. On the other hand, Laura personalizes the conventional quiet woman that obeys customs. To emphasize this, in Collin’s novel, he lets the reader know that Laura is marrying the man that her father approved even though he is now dead. When she marries, her rights legally belong to her husband and is treated with the laws and customs of the Victorian era. Throughout this period, the distinction between classes was also notable. Comparatively, The Woman in White presents how the middle class as Laura and her uncle refer to the working class, Fanny the maid. Even though Fanny has always been their maid and is the only person they trust, they only communicate with her at their convenience. Moreover, Mr. Fairlie does not even call the maid by her name, but refers to her as “Young Person”. Certainly, the Victorian Period was a significant impact in the novel where
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