Shirley Social Concerns

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The unhappy situation of women in Victorian society always concerned Charlotte Bronte, as is seen in her earlier novel Jane Eyre. Shirley, however, sets this circumstance against a historical and social background of wide scope. The plot events take place in 1812, a troubled time when the Napoleonic Wars and the attendant Orders in Council have brought on a chaotic economic and social disruption. Bronte had wanted to write a "condition of England" novel and, even before penning Shirley, had declared that she wished to deal with the "condition of women" in her time and place. In Shirley, Bronte combines and interrelates these concerns.

While the owners and workers are in grim opposition, so society itself is crushing the spirit of most women. The basis of both conflicts is primarily economic: The workers are losing their jobs because of a poor market condition and because of the technical advances...

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This section contains 375 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Shirley Short Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
Shirley from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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