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The victorian age, how it is represented in the 3 novels (Wuthering Heights, Mill on...

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mano | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 22, 2007 at 10:53 PM via web

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The victorian age, how it is represented in the 3 novels (Wuthering Heights, Mill on the Floss, and Great Expectations?)

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janeyb | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted May 23, 2007 at 12:46 AM (Answer #1)

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If you're looking to connect all three novels to a celebrated topic in the Victorian age, something that i think about when it comes to these three novels, is the power of woman. Women were considered the property of men; a girl belonged to her father until she married, after which she belonged to her husband. A woman had no legal rights; even if someone committed a crime against her, she could not prosecute. Instead, her husband would prosecute the crime as an offense against his property. Women did not have parental rights, so a husband could take his wife's children and send them to relatives or elsewhere to be raised without her consent. If a woman entered the marriage with an inheritance, it became her husband's when they married, and he could spend it on anything he pleased. Women could not obtain divorces, even if their husbands were abusive or unfaithful, and if they ran away, they could be arrested, brought back to their husbands, or imprisoned. This made it hard for woman who did not fit into that mold, and in all three of these novels mentioned above, the authors decided to use as heroines women who did not fit in, who were more independent. Take The Mill on the Floss, by George Eliot, one of the most famous (or infamous) female writers during the time. Look at her character of Maggie. Take Dicken's Mrs. Defarge, and in Wuthering Heights, Catherine. These are woman who don't sit quietly and become a lady, and listen only to the men in their lives. THey are intelligent and passionate.

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