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The French Lieutenant's Woman Themes

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Patriarchy

The Victorian Era in England is a time of strict propriety, duty, and obligation toward one’s position in society and toward God. As such, it is an era of time –at least officially –dominated by men. Men, Charles notes, possess reason and objectivity. With those qualities, it is only natural that men like Charles should be at the very top of society. Women are dutifully submissive toward them and toward morality, as embodied in Ernestina’s submissiveness toward Charles, and Mrs. Poulteney’s submissiveness to God.

In every class level, men are expected to head up households and earn wages. In the relationship between Sam and Mary, Sam is the one who goes out to earn a living. In the potential marriage between Charles and Ernestina, it will be Charles who is responsible for providing income. Furthermore, Charles mistakenly assumes that his reason, objectivity, and rank, will...

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This section contains 590 words
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Buy The French Lieutenant's Woman Study Guide
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