Essay Victorian's Secret: Sexual Revelations

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Victorian's Secret: Sexual Revelations Art in its various forms has developed throughout history in response to changing political trends, philosophical movements, and even technological advances. With the invention of the camera and its increased use in the Victorian era, photography became a recognized art form. As with most forms of technology that infiltrate society, photography since its creation in 1839 has brought about startlingly negative consequences. There is an ethical, moral question one must ask himself or herself – where should the line be drawn in respect to photographing children? The Victorians captured an incalculable amount of images of dead children, nude children, and children in provocative poses. When an…show more content…
In response to this purely technical point of view, photographers approached photography as an art by posing subjects in fantastic positions. Children became a favorite subject of Victorian photographers due to their innocence. “Children were highly popular subjects for Victorian artists, who tended to conceive of them as natural, spiritualized beings whose innocence was untouched by the experience of original sin” (Cox 373). This innocence was intertwined with the prevailing emphasis on Christianity of the era. Children were “sacred” in the eyes of adults, and characterized as “paradigms of angelic beauty and virtue,” and most photographers desired to maintain that objective of innocence and heavenliness through their work (373). As attitudes and technology progressed, the development of photography satisfied the need for a more instantaneous art form; the subject matter and poses used in traditional Victorian painting carried over into the new art. During the Victorian era, children were not seen in the same light as the contemporary world views them now. Children were not considered to be sexual, growing creatures; they were considered young adults. As a result, they were dressed like adults, expected to act like adults, and were portrayed as adults (Cox 373). The epitome of Victorian thought concerning children is the character Polly in Charlotte Brontë's Villette . As a young child, she is forced to maturely accept that her father

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