Women In Victorian Era Essay

1347 Words6 Pages
During the Victorian era, women were viewed as the very opposite of what a man ought to be. In the words of John Stuart Mill, who published a criticism of the way society differentiated between males and females "The female sex was brought up to believe that its ‘ideal of character’ was the very opposite to that of men’s ‘not self-will , and government by self-control, but submission, and yielding to the control of others" to live for others; to make complete abnegation of themselves, and to have no life but in their affections.’” (171) Basically, women were expected to be sweet, docile, and man’s perfect helpmate. Contrary to that belief, throughout the Victorian era the view of women began to change, at least in the mind of some.…show more content…
The heroine, Cathy, is the very essence of an unconventional Victorian woman. Cathy is wild, undisciplined, rowdy, and disheveled. She could almost be considered tomboyish in nature. She is definitely not the picture of a “proper” Victorian girl. I believe that the reason Cathy is as she is, however, is because of the influence of her playmate Heathcliff, who is a reckless, moody young man who brings chaos and bad behavior to everyone he encounters. Compare Cathy to her neighbor Isabella Linton at Thrushcross Grange. Isabella is quiet, neat, dainty, caring, obedient, and well mannered. She bows in deference to the wishes of the men in her life. She is the epitome of what a “proper” Victorian girl should be like. Although Cathy does eventually begin to dress and behave more like she should, it is only after she comes into contact with the traditional Linton family. Nelly Dean, the family’s faithful housekeepers who has had to put up with much of Cathy’s reckless ways, is amazed at the change in Cathy after her short visit with the Linton’s. “Instead of a wild, hatless little savage jumping into the house… there 'lighted from a handsome black pony a very dignified person, with brown ringlets falling from the cover of a feathered beaver, and a long cloth habit, which she was obliged to hold up with both hands that she might sail in.” Cathy had been transformed from her previous ways; at least it seemed to be the case. Cathy’s sister-in-law Frances warns
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