Feminine Consumerism in the Victorian Era
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The paper traces the developments of industrialization and urbanization in the Victoria Era and the effects of this cultural movement on American women as depicted in Edith Wharton's "The House of Mirth". The paper examines the female characters in "The House of Mirth" and argues that industrial society created a place for women to interact with the hyper-capitalist economy in a masculine way, through factory work and to a certain extent in social caretaker roles, but society also created a showcase for the leisure class. The paper goes on to show how this would ultimately undermine the chance for female advancement by enticing and convincing women to remain functionless commodities.
From the Paper:"Industrialization fashioned a new society based on the urban city. Mechanized production created wealth for the innovators and entrepreneurs. These new parameters of manufacturing meant that goods were produced quicker, ultimately leading to more goods being more readily accessible. Two main social effects of industrialization, after creation of jobs and wealth for some, were the increased proximity of people and a new arena that exhibited the wealthy. Mechanical advancements of the Victorian Era reduced travel time, seemingly bringing people closer together. Next, people moved to cities because the abilities of mechanized production meant that the family house was no longer the place of production and usage. This allowed people to live in considerably smaller places. It also practically became mandatory that people become consumers instead of producers, as well as rely on one another. This complicates the exchange system of pre-industrialized life and the shift introduces the idea of a marketplace."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Clubbe, John. "Interiors and the Interior Life in Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth". Studies of the Novel. 28.4 (1996): 543-564.
- Harrison-Kahan, Lori. "Queer myself for good and all": The House of Mirth and the Fictions of Lily's Whiteness". Legacy. 21.1 (2004): 36.
- Merish, Lori. "Engendering naturalism: Narrative form and commodity spectacle in U.S. naturalist fiction". Novel Providence. 29.3 (1996): 319-346.
- Von Rosk, Nancy. "Spectacular homes and pastoral theaters: Gender, urbanity and domesticity in The House of Mirth". Studies in the Novel. 33.3 (2001): 322-350.
- Weiner, Deborah. "Hull House and the Production of Women's Space in the Late Victorian City". Critical Matrix. 11.2 (1999) 87.
Cite this Persuasive Essay:
Feminine Consumerism in the Victorian Era (2010, June 03) Retrieved July 05, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/persuasive-essay/feminine-consumerism-in-the-victorian-era-120103/
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