Exam Question Due 23rd Sept Essay

Submitted By ge0rgierobinson
Words: 910
Pages: 4

Exam Question: How far do sources B and C support the attitude to women shown in source A?

Source A shows a man and wife in their house; we can infer from the source that the husband is upset, and perhaps grieving, because he is leaning on the mantelpiece and covering his eyes with his hand. The black-lined letter suggests that someone close to the man has died; he is perhaps shocked at the news. In the picture, is also a woman who is probably the man’s wife. She clings to his arm, with a sympathetic look on her face, physically leaning towards him in his time of grief. However, the woman is not crying, and does not, in herself, seem upset. From this, we can infer that ‘woman’s mission’, the title of the scene, refers to the responsibility of women to put their own grief aside to solely concern herself with the needs of her husband. Another feature of the scene, is the elaborate furniture that the couple are surrounded by; their clothes are elegant and sophisticated too. This suggests that the husband has a good job and provides enough money for his family to afford a good standard of living. As well as this, in the source is included a laid table, complete with a delicate china teapot and cutlery. This implies that the wife is a good housekeeper, and fulfils her duties, as a proper wife should. Overall, source A suggests that the Victorian attitude towards women was very much based on responsibility; it was a wife’s duty to care for her husband and family, a wife’s duty to keep a clean and proper household for her husband, and a woman’s duty to be at the beck and call of the men in their lives, who worked so hard to keep them in the manor in which they had become accustomed. As for the reliability of the source, it was painted by a popular Victorian artist; made famous for painting realistic family scenes. This increases the source’s reliability, as it was painted with the purpose to showcase actual scenes of Victorian life, so wouldn’t have been exaggerated. Source B is similar to source A in its portrayal of the attitude towards women, in the way that ‘man for the field and woman for the hearth’ implies that women’s role is to look after the house, to clean the ‘hearth’; whereas a man’s role was to work and supply for their family, outside the home in the ‘field’. It also suggests that men are cleverer than women, in the quote: ‘Man with the head and woman with the heart’, as well as implying that women are soft and delicate, their role is to care and love; men’s role is to be strong, clever and work-oriented. This is similar to the impression given in source A, as the woman is doting on and comforting her distressed husband. Likewise, source C portrays the attitude towards women as expectant and uniform, in the way it describes how women should improve themselves. ‘Wise not that she may set herself above her husband, but that she may never fall from his side’ is an example of this, where it is the woman’s responsibility to not be cast aside by her husband, and she must be wise with ‘passionate gentleness’. This suggests, equivalently to source B, that women are ‘gentle’ and need looking after, but must be passionate and loving in every aspect of their lives. However, source B offers a different