Essay on How Gender Roles Have Changed Over The Years

1439 Words Feb 25th, 2016 null Page
Gender roles have changed drastically over the years, paving a path for women to become educated, and form more equal gender relationships. This development of a new woman formed strongly during the Victorian Era, with help from literary works of Judith Walkowitz, Jane Austen, and Charles Dickens. Prior to the Victorian Era, women had little to no voice. Women were controlled by men, owned no property, and were expected to take care of the home and children. If a woman did work, her options were limited to things such as making clothes, teaching, or being a nurse. The pay for women was also very low, and required minimal skills. During this time, a woman’s piety, also known as religion, was one of the most valuable things to both herself and society. In “Forget me not: evening prayer at a girls’ school,” by Felicia Hemans, this importance of religion is emphasized and explains the hardships women faced. “Her lot is on you! – silent tears to weep, and patient smiles to wear through suffering’s hour, and sumless riches, from affection’s deep, to pour on broken reeds – a wasted shower! And to make idols, and to find them clay, and to bewail that worship – therefore pray!” (Hemans). This stanza explains that a woman will face difficulties of motherhood such as child birth, and the death of a child. The poem is directed toward young girls, reminding them that being a woman is difficult, but they always have prayer to see them through. While Hemans was a respected and…

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