Anthology of the Victorian Literature
The poem, the Lady of Shalott, was a poignant fairy tale. It was a love story that narrated the life of a woman who was never allowed to look out the window of a tower where she was kept portraying captivity. The lady’s occupation was to weave the shadows of the things she saw on her mirror on a magic loom (line 46-48). One day, through the mirror, the lady noticed Lancelot and fell in love with him. This caused her to turn and look through the window to gaze down at Camelot only for the mirror to crack (line 115). Feeling the curse’s power, she departed from the tower and boarded a boat on which she wrote her name and then headed down stream to Camelot, singing her final song. Because of what she did, she was forced to face her death alone without knowing the man she fell in love with. The boat attracted the people of Camelot who feared what was inside it but Lancelot saw her beauty and appreciated (line 166-169).
John Mill’s, The Subjection of Women, served as a great read for men and women. Since it was written by a man, the Victorian men did not agree with it. However, the letter acted as a voice for the women during that time. Mill advocated for the equality between the sexes going as far as judging the legislators by stating that comparisons cannot be just where the government is full of males (1105). Mill clarified that men were the decision makers for women but they did not have a clear picture of what women wanted. Despite the different eras in which Mill and Mary Wollstonecraft lived, their arguments were still similar. Wollstonecraft’s opinions did not influence the people at that period, especially the men since she was a woman. She further asserted that she knew all about the needs of women in order for them to become better persons in the society since she was also a woman (214).
In Minute on Indian Education by Thomas Macaulay, the committee argued on the civilization of the Indians. A part of the committee desired to teach the Indians the English way of life, which comprised the English language, religion, history and other aspects whereas the other part wanted the Indians to retain their language, religion and history. They wanted the people to be “Indian in blood and color but English in taste, in opinion, in morals and in intellect” (1642). Therefore, they preferred the Indians to abscond their coarse mentality and subjugate themselves to the English way of life. This further indicated that the way the Indians lived was uncivilized, thus they were forced to refrain from practicing their customs, beliefs, morals, values and religion and adapt to the English lifestyle, which was civilized. This was slowly leading to an eroding Indian culture at the mercy of the colonization by the English.
In D.H Lawrence’s, Love on the Farm, the third to seven stanzas show the author’s use of the third person language. By using the style, the author gives the different love and agitation scenarios of the farm such as the creeping of the woodbine to her lover and all designed to portray the actual situation on which the author is seen by using the theme of love among the animals of the farm. By using nature, the intended effect is recognized, as one is able to interpret the situation between the two lovers. Additionally, nature on the farm is also used to indicate the arrival of the man as the murderer as shown by the fleeing of the swallow and the water hen and the pressing of the ears by the rabbit. The poem is not only about love but also about the death of a woman under the arms of her lover (2249-2258).
In D.H Lawrence’s, The Horse Dealer’s Daughter, Mabel plays the role of a maidservant in their desolate family. The family is undergoing a tumultuous time since the family has lost all of its money from the horse business thus leaving the brothers to go anywhere they can but leave Mabel behind who is not considered in the house. The only few options available are going to live with her sister, Lucy or become a servant but she is unsatisfied. With the turmoil in her mind, she heads to the cemetery to trim the grass around her mother’s grave where she feels calm and indicates that she wants to go to her mother, which portrays her suicidal tendencies. The young doctor, Jack Ferguson, passes near the cemetery, spots Mabel advancing to a putrid lake, and sinks which compels Jack to jump into the lake and save her from drowning with difficulty (1714-1728).
Lawrence, D.H. “The Horse Dealer’s Daughter.” The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Vol. F. Ed. Stephen Greenblatt. 9th Ed. New York: Norton, 2012. 1714-1728. Print.
Lawrence, D.H. “Love on The Farm.” The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Vol. F. Ed. Stephen Greenblatt. 9th Ed. New York: Norton, 2012. 2249-2258. Print.
Macaulay, Thomas. “Minute on Indian Education.” The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Vol. E. Ed. Stephen Greenblatt. 9th Ed. New York: Norton, 2012. 1640-1642. Print.
Mill, John. “The Subjection of Woman.” The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Vol. D. Ed. Stephen Greenblatt. 9th Ed. New York: Norton, 2012. 1105-1115. Print.
Tennyson, Alfred. “The Lady of Shalott.” The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Vol. D. Ed. Stephen Greenblatt. 9th Ed. New York: Norton, 2012. 1161-1166. Print.
Wollstonecraft, Mary. “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman.” The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Vol. D. 9Ed. Stephen Greenblatt. 9th Ed. New York: Norton, 2012. 213-238. Print.