19th Century Epic Romances discussion


Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Abenet (new)

Abenet | 21 comments In your opinion can 19th Century women find validation in themselves or did it always have to come from a man?

message 2: by Kylie (new)

Kylie | 77 comments I think that the way society was set up, it would have been very difficult to find validation without a man. Women could not get an education, a career, or even really develop realistic dreams of what they wanted to do in their life that didn't include becoming a wife and mother. Society seemed to really look down on women who did not get married so they would have lived a life of ridicule and always would be looked down upon. So ultimately, I don't think a woman was able to validate themselves without a man in this time frame.

message 3: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Women were considered property of their husband for a long time, until the women revolted and got the right to vote. Still it was a slow struggle. Women were considered not to have any important opinions and the weaker sex. In many ways those attitudes haven't changed, look at the work place - women are still getting paid less for the same work that a man does. Although, in my opinion the men are becoming the weaker sex, many are opting to stay at home while the wives are able to land better jobs than some of them.

message 4: by Lena (new)

Lena | 19 comments In some ways, the notion that we are the weaker sex has forced us to strive to become more independent.

message 5: by Heather (new)

Heather (CrystalMirror) | 7 comments Most men spent very little time w/ their wives and families. Like women today, I think the women found validation w/in their families and communities. You have to remember the church played a much bigger role in everyday life, and the women were the force behind many things getting done. The saying about the man being the head, but the woman is the neck, started around this time.

message 6: by Chandra (new)

Chandra Leigh | 3 comments If you were a widow your freedom expanded significantly. You were much more likely to own your home, be in charge of your property, much more of the rights men had. Not even close to equal, but way more than an unmarried woman who had never been married.

Of course, if your husband wasn't wealthy, all of that would be gone pretty quickly, and so you have the stories based in marrying off daughters to regain wealth and avoid poverty.

message 7: by Kay (new)

S. Kay (sharpcastuser) | 3 comments Most of the 19th century novels depict the woman as a damsel in distress, whose aim is primarily playing the role of the ideal wife. Writers like Mary Ann Evans had to use a man's penname (George Eliot) in order to be taken seriously. Though Jane Austen writes primarily about love, romance, and marriage, in her real life, she remained unmarried after a failed relationship due to class differences.

message 8: by Barbara (new)

Barbara One thing I think we all fell in love with in Jane Austin's stories is that there was a real relationship between the two to be married, which is in actuality back in those days an unusual occurrence. Many married for other reasons.

back to top