THREE MEN IN A BOAT
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Modern readers might find Jerome's portrayal of women politically problematic. He relies heavily on stereotypes of women as vain, shallow, and excessively emotional. This portrayal is particularly clear in his comic riffs, such as the one about women's boating clothes. Although Victorian writers such as Charlotte Brontë and George Eliot wrote about strong female characters who challenged these stereotypes, Jerome's attitude toward women was nonetheless an extremely common one in 1889. On the other hand, Jerome does demonstrate empathy for the problems faced by unwed mothers. The episode in which the men find a woman's corpse in the river exposes the injustices that these women face when trying to provide for their children. Ultimately, Jerome shows some sensitivity to women, but mostly reflects his era's prejudices.