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Letteratura inglese - Appunti

Appunti inerenti l'esame di Letteratura inglese, i quali vertono su victorian britain, respectability, woman, Royal Academy of Arts in London, Companion of Manhood, Comfort of Old Age, ministering angel, attractive, Mother and Child, Ideal of Motherhood.

Esame di Lingua inglese docente Prof. P. Scienze letterarie



is dismissed as effeminate and therefore only able

to produce “attractive” as opposed to great Art. The

passage concludes by emphasizing that the danger

of Hicks’ vulgar form of art lies in the very fact of its

popularity with the public .In Victorian Age

Motherhood was regarded as the most valuable and

natural component of Woman’s Mission. It was

Woman’s main reason for being and her chief

source of pleasure. The image of Madonna and

Child was a paradigm of maternal devotion and


purity in the 19 century. The painter C.W.Cope

made a speciality of pictures on this subject. In

“Mother and Child”,1852,the mother stands holding

a sleeping baby whose head rests on her shoulder.

The mother/Child relationship is defined through the

tenderness, gentleness and care which is built

around the 2 figures. This painting represents the

celebration of the bourgeois Ideal of Motherhood.

Cope’s picture ”The Young Mother” which was

exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1846,reflects on

and contributes to contemporary attitudes

concerning childcare and motherhood. The youth of


mother is stressed both in the title and in the visual

representation. The Woman is shown in the act of

breast-feeding her baby. The image positions the

spectator at the same level as the seated mother,

watching the feeding. This look from the child to the

mother emphasizes the sense of intimacy which is

produced in this picture. Motherhood is defined as

natural and private. This is another contribute to the

Woman’s “respectability” in the Victorian Age. The

last picture called “A Contrast” painted by Abraham

Solomon was exhibited at the Royal Academy in

1855.In this picture Female dependency was

reproduced and guaranteed by the belief that

respectable women were weak and delicate, and in

a perpetual state of sickness. This representation of

middle-class Femininity was set up in opposition to

an image of working-class women who were defined

as healthy, hardy and robust. Physical frailty was a


sign of respectable femininity and by the mid-19

century a morbid cult of “Female Invalidism” had

developed. This myth of female frailty also reserved

the interests of the medical profession; The middle-


class woman was the perfect patient, in a constant

state of sickness and with enough money to pay for

frequent home visits and protracted medical

treatments. Female sickness was taken up as a

subject of and for art It was an acceptable image for

the middle-class crowds who visited the Royal

Academy. The main narrative and pictorial interest

of the picture is the contrast between the frailty and

delicacy of the middle-woman in the invalid chair,

and the robust health of the 2 working women. The

2 classes are separated by the device of the vertical

mast and sail which also divides the composition in

2.The working women are represented as sturdy,

though and solid; they are dressed in characteristic

”picturesque” working clothes. Clearly ,the clothes of

the women on the right are not intended for work, in

fact they connote leisure and passive occupation

and their manner and situation signal that they are

middle-classes ;while the clothes of the working

women are both picturesque and intended for

physical labour. This picture represents the power

and the dependency. Middle –class moralists





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Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea in lingue e culture del mondo moderno
A.A.: 2007-2008

I contenuti di questa pagina costituiscono rielaborazioni personali del Publisher Chiakka87 di informazioni apprese con la frequenza delle lezioni di Lingua inglese e studio autonomo di eventuali libri di riferimento in preparazione dell'esame finale o della tesi. Non devono intendersi come materiale ufficiale dell'università La Sapienza - Uniroma1 o del prof Scienze letterarie Prof.

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