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Violating the Victorian values in Anne Brontes The tenant of Wildfell Hall
2002 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year))Student thesis
Abstract [en]

Violating the Victorian Values in Anne Brontë’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. In this essay I examine how the protagonist Helen Huntingdon violates the patriarchal rules of the Victorian society, and how she learns from her struggle. Anne Brontë does not portray her heroine as a submissive and weak woman who is in need of protection from a strong man, but as a person with plenty of integrity. This integrity of hers is something other than what is expected from a young woman, and it makes her break the rules of society. Her need to be true to God and to herself is immensely important; she is not capable of negotiating on her beliefs. Moreover, her naivety makes her believe that everybody else share her moral principles. When she cannot compromise and forgive her drinking husband, she must escape the bad marriage and make her own living. The result of her integrity is that she violates the gender rules by leaving her husband and speaking her mind to everybody, even to influential authorities. The protagonist’s strong defence for bringing up girls on same conditions as boys originates from her own personal development, had she not been kept ignorant, she would have a better life as an adult; her naivety is replaced by clear-sightedness. Thus, this development makes the novel a Bildungsroman. I have found that art is also a subject where norms and principles are violated. Not only is it inappropriate for a woman to have a career and earn money, the choice of profession is not the desired one. Through her paintings Helen expresses and hides herself, and to express the inner self is an unwomanly behaviour. My conclusion is that the heroine’s integrity and wish to be true to herself is something that violates the rules of society. However, by becoming more clear-sighted she learns what is expected from her and how to negotiate with the rules.

Abstract [en]

Violating the Victorian Values in Anne Brontë’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. In this essay I examine how the protagonist Helen Huntingdon violates the patriarchal rules of the Victorian society, and how she learns from her struggle. Anne Brontë does not portray her heroine as a submissive and weak woman who is in need of protection from a strong man, but as a person with plenty of integrity. This integrity of hers is something other than what is expected from a young woman, and it makes her break the rules of society. Her need to be true to God and to herself is immensely important; she is not capable of negotiating on her beliefs. Moreover, her naivety makes her believe that everybody else share her moral principles. When she cannot compromise and forgive her drinking husband, she must escape the bad marriage and make her own living. The result of her integrity is that she violates the gender rules by leaving her husband and speaking her mind to everybody, even to influential authorities. The protagonist’s strong defence for bringing up girls on same conditions as boys originates from her own personal development, had she not been kept ignorant, she would have a better life as an adult; her naivety is replaced by clear-sightedness. Thus, this development makes the novel a Bildungsroman. I have found that art is also a subject where norms and principles are violated. Not only is it inappropriate for a woman to have a career and earn money, the choice of profession is not the desired one. Through her paintings Helen expresses and hides herself, and to express the inner self is an unwomanly behaviour. My conclusion is that the heroine’s integrity and wish to be true to herself is something that violates the rules of society. However, by becoming more clear-sighted she learns what is expected from her and how to negotiate with the rules.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2002. , 27 p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-53899Local ID: ENG D-13OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-53899DiVA: diva2:1102459
Subject / course
English
Available from: 2017-05-29 Created: 2017-05-29

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