Social Mobility and Woman vs. Lady in Victorian Soceity

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Social Mobility and Woman vs. Lady in Victorian Soceity

The transformation of English society during the Victorian era brought with it numerous industrial, cultural, as well as social changes. The overwhelming influx of population from rural to urban areas and the various new job opportunities created by factories and London?s sudden shift to industrialism affected not only the public, but also the personal lives of its residents. A new class system had begun to form, beginning with the emergence of a new middle class. Women were especially affected by this, because as they were expected to live off of their husbands and thrive solely on society and their own families, it became increasingly important to marry well and remain in high
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The dissimilarities between a lower-class bride and her upper-class in-laws also mirror the major differences between a ?woman? and the more-favored ?lady?. "Can there be a choice of agency between a delicate, consumptive maid, fatigued with her day's hard work, and a buxom, well-constituted lady, whose greatest exertion has been a drive in the park and the handing to her man a few cards to be left at friends' doors? The one is a servant, the other a lady; and physiogical conditions stand nowhere in the face of such divine distinctions? (The Victorian Web).

A woman was poorly kept, did her own housework, and took care of her own children. She was most often a part of the female population in urban areas, and was almost always of low social status. A woman may have had to work alongside her husband in a factory to help feed her family, and was not formally educated in academics or social etiquette. A lady, on the other hand, hardly ever did her own work. She dressed well, spoke well, and entertained well. She was well-educated and well-maintained, and always dressed in the finest of fabrics and carried herself like royalty. Her children were taken care of by governesses (who were, of course, just women themselves) and this lady was nearly always a member of upper, or upper-middle class. One of the grand appeals of marrying well was the possibility of becoming a lady?but
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