Victorian Women

This paper describes and contrasts the lives of two Victorian women in the books, “The Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands” by Mary Seacole and “Middlemarch” by George Eliot.

This paper looks for a true description of the lives of Victorian women by comparing an autobiography by Mary Seacole and a novel by George Eliot (pen name of Mary Ann Evans). The author states the two texts demonstrate that the lives of Victorian women were far more autonomous in practice than traditional Victorian fictional narratives might allow. The author points out that, ironically, Eliot’s own personal life flouted conventional norms of femininity that she as an author never permitted her factious Victorian heroines.
The main narrative of the fictive Middlemarch tells the tale of Dorothea Brooke. Dorothea begins the novel as an extremely pious but wealthy young woman, seeking a larger purpose in life. She thinks she has found this greater purpose when she marries an elderly, pedantic clergyman named Casaubon. However, it soon becomes clear that her young passions have been diverted to purposeless ends.