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The Victorian Era. 1837-1901. Queen Victoria. Way of Life for Women.

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the victorian era
The Victorian Era


Queen Victoria

way of life for women
Way of Life for Women
  • Sweetness is to woman what sugar is to fruit. It is her first business to be happy - a sunbeam in the house, making others happy. True, she will often have "a tear in her eye", but, it must be accompanied with "a smile on her lips."

  •  Girls and women are willing enough to be agreeable to men if they do not happen to stand to them in the relation of father, brother, or husband; but it is not every woman who remembers that her raison d'être is to give out pleasure to all as a fire gives out heat.
Expected to be weak and helpless; a fragile delicate flower incapable of making decisions beyond selecting the menu and ensuring her many children were taught moral values. 
woman s prime job
Woman’s Prime Job
  • Bear a large family
  • Maintain a smooth family atmosphere where the man does not have to worry about domestic matters

Helmer: Before all else you are a wife and a mother.Nora: That I no longer believe. I think that above all else I am a human being, just as much as you are...

women s fashion
Women’s Fashion
  • The clothing women wore reflected the restrictions they had.
  • To get ready for courtship and marriage, a girl was groomed like a racehorse.
  • Must sing, play an instrument and speak a little French or Italian.
  • Be innocent, virtuous, dutiful, and be ignorant.
Until late in the century in 1887 a married woman could not own property. 
  • Previously her property, frequently inherited from her family, belonged to her husband.
  • A divorced woman had no chance of acceptance in society again. 
Victorian men kept mistresses, but they still expected their wives or mistresses to be faithful
  • If a women took a lover it was not made public. If it did become public knowledge she would be cut by society.

The Fallen WomanShe was the woman many married men of the Victorian Era would visit and even "keep". She was sexually promiscuous, knowledgeable in the finer art of seduction, and was not a woman to be taken home to mother.

henrik ibsen
Henrik Ibsen
  • March 1828-May 1906
  • Ibsen is the greatest of Norwegian authors and one of the most important playwrights of all time
  • Ibsen is called the “father of modern drama” because his plays moved away from the Romantic Movement toward Realism and Modernism
ibsen s personal life
Ibsen’s Personal Life
  • n 1858, Ibsen married SuzannahThoreson, and eventually had one son with her.
  • Ibsen felt that, rather than merely live together, husband and wife should live as equals, free to become their own human beings.
  • Consequently, Ibsen’s critics attacked him for failing to respect the institution of marriage.
drama during ibsen s time
Drama During Ibsen’s Time
  • Victorian-era plays were expected to be moral dramas with protagonists defeating darker forces; every drama was expected to result in a morally-appropriate conclusion
  • His plays were considered scandalous to many of his era because he challenged Victorian values of family life and modesty
  • “A Doll’s House” is a mocking criticism of the blind acceptance of traditional roles of men and women in Victorian marriage
  • Play became an influential piece of propaganda
  • Started a social change
    • Heightened awareness
    • Put women’s position in society on the political agenda