Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




The purpose of studying the Victorian women in poetry has been to find some relation between the historical woman and the literary woman. Louise E. Rorabacher in a similar thesis considered only the novels of the day (Victorian Women in Life and Fiction, University of Illinois, 1942). Her purpose was to determine the validity of the concept of the woman in the novel in terms of historical fact. She concluded that the fictional woman was real, in a narrow, myopic sense, but that she did not reflect the social change. The picture of her social and conservative home life was accurate, but she was without intellectual or political tendencies. She was stereotyped. In fact, the popular novel maintained the status quo to the detriment of reform, for it retarded rather than promoted change. The working girl was encouraged to be patient and quit, since this was how her fictional counterpart met the rich young man and lived happily ever after.