5 Victorian Heroines You Could Meet In 2016
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5 Victorian Heroines You Could Meet In 2016

Since people don't seem to learn reading books, the unjust worlds these heroines represent is what women of 2016 still face.

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5 Victorian Heroines You Could Meet In 2016
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Double standards. Gender inequality. Lack of rights. Slut shaming. Subjected to the Female Gaze. All of these components are constantly dealt with in literature throughout time because apparently, society doesn't learn from the powerful art of storytelling. Especially from the Victorian era, one of the harshest kinds within modern civilization, women were not treated to the extent of equality as they should be. Unfortunately, with the unequal pay, almost no rights to her body, escalating rape culture, the sexualization of even the youngest of women, the issues for a woman in 2016 still applies to what these fictional women faced during the Victorian Era. Their stories are so familiar that you, the millennial individual reading this article, have probably met in your lifetime. So here are fictional Victorian women that you may have met in your real life or within your literary endeavors because society simply cannot let go of archaic expectations for women:

1. Elizabeth Bennet- “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen

Oh the famous “Lizzie” Bennet that fans of Austen have adored. Through her eloquent rhetoric, witty sarcasm and deep love for literature every girl can relate. The potential she could have had if she had the resources and rights to an adequate higher education. If you could have met her in 2016, she would probably be the girl with the tomboyish boyfriend jeans, loose t-shirt, hipster glasses and knit beanie currently in college, going for a major in English or Comparative Literature. However, to endeavor such education, she probably had to take out thousands in loans and probably works in a coffee shop to work towards a major that would potentially detour her to unemployment. If only she could meet a super rich, prideful man that could provide for her. Because that’s the only way she could succeed in life, right? According to our mothers, (and Lizzie’s mother) that’s the only way to be financial stable.

2. Jane Eyre- "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte

Lover of books, sassy commenter, insane smarty pants, Jane Eyre shows us her transition from a loveless childhood to an adulthood full of love and hope for her future with a dark secret preventing her and her Rochester from being together. The girl you could meet that resembles Jane is probably also “small and plain” with a brunette bob, a black flared dress with a white peter collar and black ballet flats. Orphaned from a young age, Jane probably would have been in the foster system, home to home full of hate, abuse from the caretaker and the children, and no way out, she did get out. She worked so hard in school that she had already graduated from college at the age of 18 and has obtained a teaching job at some prestigious private school for girls. However, the older man she has been seeing had a secret that could potentially destroy her reputation. Why should it destroy hers when it was his problem? Why should she feel like she is going to be punished? Because she’s a woman?

3. Hester Prynne- "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne

In 2016, Hester is probably one of those quiet types. A beautiful woman with a head full of curls and a slim silhouette and a single mother living in a small, conservative, town. She finds out that her husband was killed off at sea. He probably was a naval official or a businessman who traveled often. So, of course, it’s safe to assume that she’s single and ready to mingle. And she starts seeing the town’s pastor and actually falls for him. But wait, the husband’s alive, and it’s too late because the pastor knocked her up. Great now she’s the town’s slut because god forbid, she’s a human being with needs, like a companion. Now she’s just a plain whore who apparently slept with the town’s butcher, the mailman, her neighbor and his wife, and her daughter’s friend’s cousin’s dad’s college friend. All because she fell in love with the pastor and had his baby. She could have prevented that if only there was an abortion nearby, but no, she had to give birth to that demon child and end up socially shunned.

4. Tess Durbeyfield- “Tess of the D’Uberville” by Thomas Hardy


Infatuated fate to the realest level. A sweet, beautiful, rosy-cheeked country girl grows up in poverty and finds out that she’s a descendent of a depleted bloodline of knighthood and seeks the owners of her new name (because back then rich people could do that) and of course ends up raped by the son of the owners. In this modern day, she could have been that innocent farm girl that moved to the city for the adventurous life, working three part-time jobs. She’s the girl you see working at the local diner, the rustic bar, and the bookstore. At a party with no one protecting her, She probably got roofied by a rich, entitled prick-head of a college dude, and god forbid raped her behind a dumpster. Then she had his child, but that child died of course because she couldn't afford health care for the child. And along the way, she’s constantly slut-shamed by the people in her life, her mother keeps telling her to toughen up with her rapist romantically (for the money of course), and her lover leaves her as soon as she tells him. Poor girl will never catch a break.

5. Anna Karenina- “Anna Karenina” by Leo Tolstoy

This lady wanted one thing, and one thing only: to truly love and be loved. Stuck in a loveless marriage in high society Victorian Russia, she finds love through a dark, gallant soldier with the same first name as her husband btw. She leaves her status, her home, her eight-year-old son to pursue this love affair. In 2016 she could have been like a “Kardashian” celebrity, known for her extravagant designer clothing , her empire, her royalty status (in the social media sort of way). She has it all, except for love. She probably did meet some handsome prince-like guy for her, ran away with him. Along the way, she probably did go insane from the online bullying and negative press about her. This could have caused her to an overly indulgent, materialistic lifestyle to distract herself. Then she may have gotten addicted to morphine or pharmaceutical drugs, and soon descended to her obsession to loving her lover. Talk about love being her drug. But can we go back to the elephant in the room, how is it that it’s not okay for her to enjoy her love life without criticism? Why does media distort the idea that women are “loose” if they did publicly break up? God damn, now I feel bad for making fun of Taylor Swift’s love songwriting process.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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