Date of this Version
Senior Capstone Project Poster, Nebraska College Preparatory Academy/Grand Island Senior High School 2017. University of Nebraska-Lincoln
The nineteenth century is classified as the Victorian era, a period in which the middle class rose in power as a result of industrialization. As the middle classes living standards rose the middle class became reliant on utilitarianism values. This ideal appeared to offer a more comfortable life for both men and women, however, by classifying the position of women as the “heart” and men as the “head” of the house, women were hindered to a society in shadows. Women were restricted in every aspect of life because men were in power, and the ideal Victorian woman became the one who expressed self-denial and maintained herself at home and away from society. Middle-class women became humans without a sense of direction. Dickens alludes to the inner emotions of the middle-class women, emotions that were hidden from society, by uncovering them through the characterization of Louisa Gradgrind in his novel Hard Times.
In order to live a true happy life one must not be influenced by the standards of society, instead one must recognize one’s feelings and make those feelings the true determinants of one’s purpose in life. In conclusion if one permits society to take control of one’s life, one will fall into a deep state of self-denial, representing the values of society rather than one’s own personal aspirations. Instead of taking the easy path created by society, the true purpose of life lies in the handsofeachindividualandit must be up to them to uncover that purpose and reveal it to the world; if this is not accomplished, voices will remain unheard and change will never occur.