Portrait of Women in Victorian Novels
Keywords:women, Victorian Novels, Victorian Society, patriarchy, Angel-in-the-House, Mad-Woman, Fallen-Woman
This article examines the representation of three female characters in three Victorian novels. These three novels are Bleak house, Ruth, and Lady Audley’s Secret. This work is, in fact, a study of how women were viewed in Victorian novels which actually depicted the Victorian society. The society of that time was male-dominated that tried to rule over women unfairly and made them as submissive as possible in order to handle them easily according to their selfish tastes. If women in Victorian society followed the expectations of men thoroughly, they were called angel-in-the-house; if not, they were labeled with negative labels like fallen-woman or mad-woman. This article tries to go through the characters of Esther Summerson, Ruth, and Lady Audley who appeared in the three aforementioned novels respectively in order to prove that the Victorian Society, which was represented in the novels of that period, was a harshly male-dominated society that ruled over women with bitter patriarchy.