TheVictorian Period is the period that matches the reign of Queen Victoria in1837.
It is characterized by many changes that make the reign of Victorian themost progressive in English history (Fletcher, 2002: 137-139). Victoriansexplored issues related to their historical and social context such asindustrialization, rural urban life and the condition of children and women. Inthe nineteenth century, women lived in an age characterized by gendervariation. They enjoyed a few of legal, social rights and they were expected toremain subservient to their father or husbands. They were still dominated inmany ways.
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For example, women were confined to their house and in obedientposition in which they are a pursuit of freedom and self-esteem. During the era that symbolized by Victorian,women did not have rights, abused and oppressed as a result of policy in whichdiscriminatory laws have existed. According to Victorian-era.org, the Victoriansociety was divided into upper class, middle class, and working class. Theupper class or royal class was in a powerful position giving them authority,good education, better living conditions, and other facilities.
Then, themiddle class was the next in social ranking. The industrial revolution in themid-century of the era brought about drastic changes in the standard of livingof the Victorian middle class people. These revolutions opened the doors formore job opportunities and earn a decent living. It had a positive impact onthe education of children. The last is working class. This working class wasfurther categorized as the skilled workers and the unskilled workers. Consideringthe revolution, the industrial workers got jobs thus improving theirliving conditions.
However, the unskilled workers whowere placed below the skilled one remained unemployed and were weak to theexploitation. The working class was the lowest affected class in the Victoriantimes. Lack of money resulted in an unimportant food supply. For someworking families, the living conditions were so pathetic that they requiredtheir children to work in order to bring home some extra income to survive. According to Victorian-era.org, thedivision between the middle and upper class was prominent in England sociallife during the Victorian era.
Thus, the daily life of people in VictorianEngland was determined by the social class and formed by the traditional waysof life in which people especially women lived and worked depending on theirtradition and social roles under man’s patriarchy that effected on the peopleand the way they lived. They have a distinct position related to the class thatwomen come from. In addition, middle class women who might act as housekeepersor general servants in the households of their family.
It was a strategy formiddle class families to maintain adult women outside commercial orprofessional activities. While the upper class, women did not work and stay athome as respectable members of society. They have a special way of living,dictate the servants, and make parties and traveling.
Moreover, their liveswere comfortable. Furthermore, the status of women their rights and dutiescannot be generalized since they varied according to the social class a womancame from. That means social class determines the traditional of women’s life inwhich they live and work depending on. They have distinct position related tothe class that women come from. A rich people’s attitude to the poor people wasnot too sympathetic and helpful in general. An absolute majority of highersocial classes’ members was convinced that the poverty or the property is agift from the God and people should become reconciled to their social status. Therich people did not express their surprise about the life of poor people forthey were convinced that their earthly life is not important.
According to Victorian-era.org, Industrial Revolution related to the change in the status of women.According to the traditional family pattern, the women were supposed to lookafter the household chores and take care of children while the men would earnmoney.
There was a strong presence of male dominance in the society. Women wereto obey what men told them to do. The revolution gave women a time to work andearn money. It can be changing their old beliefs. Working women not only sharedthe responsibility of earning money but it also gave them a satisfaction. Theirlives were no longer restricted to the house and children.