Women Shaping Content

I find the most interesting and also my favorite thing I learned about Victorian literature was the way women writers used their work to shape the public look on the woman’s roll and the patriarchy. I was not expecting this theme to run through this course. From Elliot to Bronte to Levy strong voices speaking out against the oppression of women not only led to great art but opened the door for women to begin to take a stand and intact tangible social change. Even though Bronte and Levy did this in ways that can be seen as subtle, they still used literature to tell stories from a point of view that readers look back on and site as breaking the mold. I loved the work we read by Elliot that explained feminism in such a clear way and allowed for people to see the absurdity of the current system while also calling out people who want to put women on a pedestal and how harmful that is to our equality. I think this point is important and is one that I hadn’t really thought of, so it shaped my thinking as the semester progressed that part of equality is seeing flawed female characters. This was seen in the personality and actions of several keys characters in the works we read, for example, Catherine Ms .Havisham, and Judith. I enjoyed studying these women’s stories and the way each writer, even Dickens, found a way to insert a compelling female character into the work. My take away from this aspect of Victorian literature is that through the help of writers like Elliot women felt inspired to write realistic female characters which then made their art better and in turn the Victorian era special.

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