Women In Victorian Literature

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Whereas men were allowed sexual conquests without marriage, women were supposed to be uninterested in sex (Hughes). It is no wonder that the Victorian Era coined the phrase "close your eyes and think of England," a metaphor which asks women to endure sexual intercourse for king (or queen) and country (Brown and Ferree 6). William Acton, a doctor at the time, reasoned in his text Functions and Disorders of the Reproductive Organs, in Childhood, Youth, Adult Age, and Advanced Life, Considered in the Physiological, Social, and Moral Relations that "the majority of women (happily for them) are not very much troubled with sexual feeling of any kind. What men are habitually, women are only exceptionally" (112). The fear of these exceptional women was present in Victorian literature.…show more content…
It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex. (109) critics were scandalized (Hughes). Not only about the fact that Jane criticises women's place in society but also about her role as a governess who falls in love with her employer (Hughes). A critic at the time claimed: "We would have thought that such a hero had had no chance, in the purer taste of the present day; but the popularity of Jane Eyre is a proof how deeply the love for illegitimate romance is implanted in our nature" (Rigby 503). Figures like Jane seemed to represent the exception to the rule that all women were supposed to be sexless (Hughes). 2.3.

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