The changing portrayal of women in the novels Shirley, The Mill on the Floss and Sons and Lovers
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My thesis analyses the women characters in the three novels, Shirley, the Mill on the Floss and Sons and Lovers. The first chapter gives information on the historical background of the Victorian period and the early 20th century in England in which the novels were written, on the biography of the authors of the novels and clarifies the aim of the study which is to study the reflection of societal mores which affect women. The following chapters analyze the female characters – Shirley Keeldar, Maggie Tulliver and Clara Dawes – selected for study to see how far they went against social norms and perceptions about women. This chapter provides a general appraisal of each character. The conclusion presents a comparison of these female characters and their attitudes, and asserts that each of them displays a controversial attitude considering the period in which the novels were written. This study looks at women belonging to diverse social classes and statuses having varied intellectual capacities, so it is interesting to see how a patriarchal society successfully represses the women of that society.