Mrs. Warren's Profession

Mrs. and Miss Warren as Representations of the “New Woman” College

The notion of the “New Woman” arose in the late nineteenth century mainly defining middle class women who reproached the then current societal expectations for women. As stated by Susan Cruea, a professor of English and Women’s Studies at Bowling Green University, “the most important trait of the New Woman was her assertion of her right, not just to an education or a job outside the home, but to a career, which met her personal needs and fulfilled her interests. Reject-ing marriage and motherhood, she turned to a career for emotional and intellectual fulfillment” (200). In Bernard Shaw’s 1894 play, “Mrs. Warren’s Profession”, Vivie Warren is typically regarded and the representation of the New Woman; however, both Mrs. Warren and Vivie encompass the ideals of the New Woman through a career-centered life and rejection of marriage.

Career-driven women are an integral part of the ideals of the New Woman. Both Mrs. Kitty Warren and Miss Vivie Warren are working women of the upper-middle class; their career paths differ greatly which can be highly attributed to the circumstances of their youths. Mrs. Kitty Warren, for example, was born into a working class, single-mother home. This prompted her to get a job as a waitress, working...

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