Victorian Morality Of Womanhood In Bleak House By Charles Dickens

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As evident from any Dickensian novel the leading female character portrays Victorian morality of womanhood. It has been no surprise that main protagonist Esther Summerson in Bleak House portrays ideal household lady in old England as someone full of compassion, motherly love, self-effacing combining unceasing flow of spirits, extreme activity and diligence, her punctuality, uprightness and remarkable frugality that distinguishes her from her mother, Lady Deadlock who epitomize the vanity of era but all seem to in ruins as the novel progress and by way of contrast she became revealed as heartbroken passionate woman. Her quest for adventure and pleasure at younger age brought her shame: she bore a child out of wedlock from Captain Hawdon. …show more content…
Immense amounts of raw sewage were dumped straight into the Thames River. Dickens was an eager observer of the society and like Honoré de Balzac, who depicted human comedy of Paris, this English gentleman carefully animated and sketched daily lives of London, its agony, melancholy and the people inhabit on it. He portrayed human suffering in Oliver Twist, Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations and his own anguish in a semi-autobiographical novel David Copperfield. Presumably we can see most of the female major female characters in Dickens’s novel are mother figure as a result, they possess all motherly love; caring, passionate, angel of the house. When there were no universal suffrage for women, lack of proper higher education facility and he always preferred women to stay at home and do household duty; it is very contrary of 20th century feminism but as a result Charles Dickens cannot be stigmatized as a misogynist. Female characters of Shakespearean dramas are often fragile and they lack the courage to perform duty as women rather than they disguise themselves in man’s …show more content…
Her mother, Lady Deadlock seemed conceited socialite but as we went through further, we see she got a secret to bury. Her illegitimate child through previous amour. She has not been portrayed as Lady Macbeth, who is so cunning mischief, but rather we see her soft corner for former love. She couldn’t contrive with the intrigues of solicitor Tulkinghorn who could trace her lover. She became engulfed with guilt and as a result died alone. That can also be compared with Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice or Sense and Sensibility, but it can be justified as none of the characters are like Elizabeth Bennett and only the real human sufferings got priority. Dickens faithfully depicted the Victorian era through the two characters, Esther Summerson and Lady Deadlock. There was superiority complex for a lady, but it disappeared as vapor in a wet cloth burnt by the sun. Dickens’s female characters can never match the females of 20th century or 21st century. They are only confined to their household activities and we see the triumph of the idea of Utilitarianism. As propagated by Stuart Mills and Jeremey Bentham; they call it the greatest good in greatest

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