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Victorian Values Of Virtue And Respectability

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In this piece of writing, I aimed to explore the Victorian values of virtue and respectability and their strict code of behaviour which repressed female sexuality. In this piece, the young lady has given up her child for adoption which can be alluded from many hints in the texts, such as symbols of fertility and sexuality as well as signs of removal and absence to suggest that she had been absent for a long time. The term ‘European trip’ was a commonly used term at the time to discreetly explain a woman being absent as she was pregnant and went to give the child up for adoption. The strong odour of the flowers is a symbol of sexuality as the older women and repulsed from it and ask for it’s removal-another allusion to the strict traditions and conservatism of the Victorian society who seeked to repress female sexuality. Prominent symbols of fertility;pomegranates and lilies-have been used. The images of nature,weather and seasons I used were to imply fertility. The lush and beautiful gardens that were mentioned before the young lady’s absence was to hint at her pregnancy and fertility whilst the images of a barren and dreadful garden was to insinuate the loss of fertility (her adoption). Furthermore, the peach was also another symbol of fertility and sexuality I utilised.

I was inspired by the writing of Ernest Hemingway and his short story “Hills Like White Elephants”, a short story he wrote that employed the use of the writing technique ‘Iceberg Theory’. This writing
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