Essay on Women During The Victorian London

1190 Words Dec 12th, 2015 5 Pages
Victorian London was an appearances-conscious society, especially so for the female citizens. The city was a large and densely populated metropolitan center, where various social classes rubbed shoulders. The proximity among Londoners erased some of the spatial divisions inherent in the traditional country setting and heightened awareness of the differences among them. It provided a stage on which it became common for women to penetrate various social classes. This paper examines the ways in which women used appearances to gain access to other women. The more upper-class and upper middle-class women frequently disguised themselves to become social explorers to satisfy a personal curiosity, escape a mundane lifestyle of leisure, or enable real social change. Many women shed their Victorian cages and dress themselves down, to be able to connect to the poorer women on a personal level as part of their social investigation efforts. The other side of the proximity of the social classes was dressing up to infiltrate higher social layers. In London the ways of the upper classes were not insider’s knowledge and those with a need and a quick wit exploited the role of appearance to trick the law. The streets of London were mean and the conditions were awful for those who had no choice, so the poorest women took matters into their own hands, using disguise to become acquainted with the respectable Londoners and gain their trust only to rob them in the future. Disguise afforded a…

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