Victorian Era

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Elizabeth Barrett Browning and the Victorian Context
Traditional social structure
Different social classes can be (and were by the classes themselves) distinguished by inequalities in such areas as power, authority, wealth, working and living conditions, life-styles, life-span, education, religion, and culture. Working class – physical labour

Poor living and work conditions
Did not follow rules of courtships
Did not participate in social entertainment
Had very little chance for education
Working conditions/living conditions
Workers included women and children
Long work days
Poor nutrition and health
Often overcrowded
Poorly ventilated
No sewage or draining system
Middle class – performed clean work
Only men provided the income
Consists of bankers, shopkeepers, merchants, engineers and other professionals Upper class – didn’t have to work
Wealth came from inherited land or investments
Included people from the church and of nobility
The place of religion
Bible was taken as the literal truth and was the foundation of moral behaviour which came to be known as ‘Victorianism’ It was believed that if religion be accepted by all, that mortality would become the ‘end all’ to crime and poverty •Victorian England was a deeply religious country. A great number of people were habitual church-goers, at least once and probably twice, every Sunday. The Bible was frequently and widely read by people of every class; so too were religious stories and allegories. Yet towards the end of Queen Victoria's reign, the hold of organized religion upon the English people began to slacken for several reasons. E.g. education, science Patriarchal society and gender roles

In general, man possesses virtue, morality, honesty, straightness and reason opposing to the image of the woman, sensitive, emotive and weak. • The public sphere was dominated by the male figure and the private one by the female figure, where she will...
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