Victorian Values in "Jane Eyre" Essay

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1) The Victorian Age: Social Background There are tow dates for the beginning of the Victorian Age in England: The first date is 1837, when the Queen Victory accessed to the British throne. However the most accepted date as the start of the Victorian Age is 1832, date of the First Reform Bill. This reform allowed the entrance of urban bourgeoisie or middle-class in the Parliament because the requirements for voting were simplified; there was an increasing number of population with the right to vote. This reform also broke up the monopoly of power in hands of aristocracy and landowners in the Parliament. The end of this Age is placed in the turn of the century when Queen Victory died in 1901. The Victorian Age is usually divided…show more content…
The morality about sex had a main aim: An ideal of purity based on a chastity code which emphasized the relevance of premarital continence. In order to keep this chastity code, anything related to sex was silenced in an attitude of deliberated ignorance, an attitude of rejection of sex, especially in women, who usually associated sex with a marital duty. The Victorian education tried to introduce, especially in young men, an attitude towards women based on respect. They were taught to think of women as sisters or even as angels rather than human beings. This kind of education tried to separate completely love from sex and it was not especially oriented to girls because women were supposed to not have any kind of sexual desire. Any kind of sexual expression is limited to marriage, and even, sexual relationships in marriage were only justified for procreation. The main source of this code of purity and virtue is the resurgence of Puritanism in the last decades of 18th century (Methodism and Evangelical movement). There was a revival of the old traditions which were very conservative and especially repressed of any sexual behaviour. The Victorian Age's morality also condemned any kind of sexual reference in literature. Victorian critics demanded from "serious" literature a didactic content and respect to the Victorian conventions which established that sex
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