George Gissing 's The Odd Women Essay

1166 Words Apr 19th, 2016 5 Pages
While the turn of the century may have brought upon a new world order, heralding in the world we know today, having been transformed by the industrial revolution, it was a period of wide-spread general malaise. George Gissing’s The Odd Women reflects the major cultural and sexual issues of the late nineteenth century. Unlike some other novels of the time which may have idealized the idea of the “odd” woman and refuted the notion that they were extra, Gissing parodies that image and portrays women as superfluous. Gissing shows the societies inconsistence in views and contradictions in portrayals of the reality of the era as the class system in England began to fluctuate due to ideological shifts. And even though this period marked the beginning of a boom in technology, industrialization, and social change, living conditions for the average person was impacted negatively, especially for women as there were no jobs and no men as a means to better your quality of life. At the turn of the century, these “odd” women were forced into self-provision because there weren’t enough men for all of the women in the country to marry, as well as a gross lack of job opportunities. Aside from the fact that many women rejected the institution of marriage from a socio-political standpoint, such as Rhoda Nunn, marriage was not an option for a large proportion of British females at the time. The 1851 census revealed there were “half a million more women than men” meaning for many, it was not…

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