Do You Agree with the View That, by 1882, the Concept of the ‘Angel in the House’ Had Been Overturned?

606 Words Mar 19th, 2013 3 Pages
Edexcel P 29 B Type Essay

4(b) study the sources F, G and H and use your own knowledge. Do you agree with the view that, by 1882, the concept of the ‘angel in the house’ had been overturned?

The angel in house concept was very popular in the 19th century and it was a custom that many wives conformed to. The ‘angel in the house’ was described by Coventry Patmore’s poem towards his wife and how he fulfilled his needs by being altruistic. Men and women also had ‘separate spheres’ which was the ideology that men should conformed to public affairs and women should conform to private affairs within the home. However, by 1882, ideology changed and more women decided that they did not only want to conform to private affairs but they should
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The cartoon claims ‘Is Marriage a Failure – As a rule –Yes!’ which is ironic because it is claiming that marriage, the ballpoint of keeping society was failing, however, the concept of ‘the angel in the house’ was still being fought to stay within the household and the stronghold of keeping all women conformed to the ‘separate spheres’.
Source H is from Melanie Phillips, whose perspective on the ‘angel in the house’ is viewed nostalgically. In her analysis she is able to show the ‘paradox behind the double standard’ which was shown thoroughly through the Divorce Reform, it is challenging the idea that women cannot be in the house and speaking out, voicing their ideas publically. Nevertheless, it portrays that woman are still able to be in the house and also participate publically.

In conclusion, it can be argued that the ‘angel in the house’ was not overturned however women still wanted to voice their opinions and stand up for inequality even if it was in marriage which was seen as unacceptable but stay in the household supporting their family. Nevertheless the concept had been slightly changed with feminists such as Caroline Norton and Josephine Butler’s campaigns supporting women’s rights, which a century ago would seen as an abomination making a female speak out without the permission from her husband. The ‘angel in the house’ concept had been slightly changed in 1882 however not completely

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