Searching for Equality in an Unequal World: Message and Historical Context in 'Shirley' College

Charlotte Brontë’s novel, “Shirley” was written in 1849. Although this novel is secondary in both quality and popularity, it addresses many social issues and dilemmas of Bronte’s time period, such as business, religion, and most importantly the gender inequality that females faced throughout the duration of the Victorian period. A majority of this story concerns two women, Shirley Keeldar, who is the main character, and Caroline Helstone, another very prominent character. These two women come from very diverse backgrounds and social standings and yet this is what leads them to deep conversations of the social issues of the 19th century. In Charlotte Brontë’s feministic piece, “Shirley,” the conversations between characters, the development of the main character, Shirly Keeldar, and the time in which the novel was published, all contribute to create Brontë’s feministic work.

“Shirley” is a novel that looks to promote and express what females of the 19th century are enduring and going through socially. This novel doesn’t undermine women’s issues but instead exemplifies them and expresses how things need to change in order for not only the livelihood of women to be increased, but for the betterment of society as a whole. One quote...

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