The New Woman Fiction Of The House Essays

719 Words Apr 8th, 2016 3 Pages
The New Woman fiction of the 1880s and 1890s often expressed the displeasure with the contemporary status of women in marriage and in society. The novels portrayed their protagonists as unconventional and rebellious heroines who fought against the traditional Victorian male conception of females being an “angel in the house” and also challenged the traditional canon of morality and behavior. Many New Women novels strongly opposed the idea that home is the only proper place for a women to be. The themes of the novels were mostly comprised of marriage and sex as well as women’s desires of independence and satisfaction. Contemporary critics criticized the sexual content of New Woman novels and such ideas had become the foundation for public debate about gender relations that had previously been prohibited. The female writers exposed the traps of conventional Victorian marriage, which also included the circumstances of marriage which tolerated marital rape, the double standard or sexual morality, and obligatory or enforced motherhood. Many protagonists of New Woman fiction experienced conventional marriage as a degrading and repressive institution because women suffered from domestic abuse and other threats because of their inferior status. The New Women writers would indicate three major areas that women would feel oppressed: marriage, suffrage, and the labor market. Some female writers such as Olive Schreiner advocated free love, while others, such as George Gissing proposed…

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