Critical Essay by R. D. McMaster
SOURCE: “Women in The Way We Live Now,” English Studies in Canada, Vol. 7, No. 1, Spring, 1981, pp. 68-80.
In the following essay, McMaster evaluates Trollope's treatment of female characters in The Way We Live Now, revealing a more pro-feminist attitude than Trollope is generally known for.
Criticism dealing with Trollope's views about women is a hardy perennial despite the fact that his more celebrated statements are unambiguous.1 “The necessity of the supremacy of man is as certain to me as the eternity of the soul,”2 he says. Or of Alice Vavasor in Can You Forgive Her? he says, “her mind had become filled with some undefined idea of the importance to her of her own life. What should a woman do with her life? There had arisen round her...