Victorian Values and Attitudes

1145 Words5 Pages
Evaluate the ways that texts explore nineteenth century ways of thinking in their representation of individuals and their social context. In your essay, draw on your knowledge and understanding of TWO prescribed texts as well as other texts of your own choosing . The provided text depicts the upper torso of a masculine figure. His head is replaced with a winged brain enclosed in a cage. The wings are symbolic of women in the C19th and in particular the Victorian era. The manner in which this image is composed suggests ideas in relation to values and attitudes pertaining to individuals in their social context. They include the longing and desire under the facade of morality present amongst this society, the possessive and incarcerating temperament of patriarchal figures over their female counterparts. These concepts are conveyed through the allegorical poetry of Robert Browning, particularly the aubade ‘Meeting at Night Parting at Morning (‘Meeting’)’ about an illicit rendezvous and the dramatic monologue ‘My Last Duchess (‘Duchess’)’ where Browning’s renaissance influence is evident through the poem acting as a revelation of the Duke Alfonso’s sinister actions and the objectification of women. Further, the 1996 film The Portrait of a lady (Portrait) about a woman’s desperate choice between her autonomous, love-driven spirit and the demands of social convention encapsulates these paradigms and the struggle of women in expressing themselves. In the Victorian context, common in the literature of many was the veneer of morality that shadowed the voluptuous inner feelings of people at the time. Browning’s ‘Meeting’ is clearly indicative of the shattering of this patina and the notion of strong desire that could not be suppressed. The use of succinct sentences, “A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch” helps to create a sense of excitement in the reader and reveal
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