Women Source Paper - January 2013 Bii)

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Jan 2013 Question B)ii) Use sources 13, 14 and 15 and your own knowledge. Do you agree with the view that during the second half of the nineteenth century the concept of ‘angel in the house’ lost its relevance? The Patmore concept of ‘angle in the home’ was used to describe the position of women in the 1860’s. It suggested the idea that women were subservient to men and that they should act as an ‘angel’, caring for the rest of the family and ensuring the running the home. It also formed the idea that women could not be independent from their husband and so could not have their say in society and politics but were represented by their husbands. It is evident from sources 13 that the idea of ‘angel of the home’ lost its relevance to some extent as Middle Class women now had greater rights. However this is challenged by the fact that sources 14 and 15 both suggested that ‘angel of the home’ was still relevant as during the second half of the 19th Century women were still unequal and considered subservient to men. The concept of ‘angel of the home’ is said to have lost its relevance evident from source 13 which presents the view of the changing social position of women by the end of the 19th Century. Source 13 argues that by “1882 married women finally got control over their own property’” and that some women could take part in local elections. This shows that the concept of ‘angel of the home’ wasn’t so prominent as it wouldn’t have allowed for women to gain independence. As well as these representations it is also known that during the late half of the 19th Century there were other legislations and reforms passed such as the 1873 ‘Custody of Infants Act in which women could now gain custody of children under the age of 16. Thus indicating that women were gaining a growing hold on their position in society so ‘angel of the home’ could not coincide with

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