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The Fortune Hunter
Mingling historical fact with imaginative fiction, Goodwin writes with...
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What do Charlotte and Sis's comments say about Victorian society, and do you feel things have changed for the better or the worse?

Created: 05/07/15

Replies: 6

Posted May. 07, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

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What do Charlotte and Sis's comments say about Victorian society, and do you feel things have changed for the better or the worse?

Charlotte compares Caspar's photos of the American west to her own work: "How I envy you your deserts and your endless light. We have nothing like that here, that’s why we have to create little tableaux in studios…housemaids dressed up as goddesses." Similarly, Sisi feels the need to "escape the stifling formality of the Austrian court." What does this say about Victorian society, and do you feel things have changed for the better or the worse?


Posted May. 17, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

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RE: What do Charlotte and Sis's comments say about Victorian society, and do you feel things have changed for the better or the worse?

As we have all read in so many stories, the "Victorian Society" was all about appearances and rules and genealogy and not too much about the realities of life, the expression of true feelings but always trying to make a proper impression. For both of these very independent thinking and strongly individual women all of it seemed a bit too much and an infringement on them being able to be themselves. Charlotte I think had a much stronger sense of what she wanted and who she was and was basically a kinder person.
I think there is little doubt that it is better now and that people are more likely to be valued for what they do and how they treat others than for their lineage. That said there are still in every country a certain "society" and or "club" to which belonging is a sign of importance.


Posted May. 20, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
elise

Join Date: 04/22/11

Posts: 30

RE: What do Charlotte and Sis's comments say about Victorian society, and do you feel things have changed for the better or the worse?

There is still a layer of "old money" in which your last name is very important and there is pressure to marry into the same social class. I don't know if there is the same level of formality; however, I'm sure there is pressure to look and act a certain way. Being a member of the middle class, I don't know to what extent high society has changed.


Posted May. 20, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jeannew

Join Date: 04/23/11

Posts: 82

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RE: What do Charlotte and Sis's comments say about Victorian society, and do you feel things have changed for the better or the worse?

Charlotte and Sisi's comments are very reflective of Victorian society and of most women's lives in general, particularly those "of a certain class." It always made me very glad not to be rich and live up (or down) to those false standards of beauty and behavior. I'm sure that at the upper levels of society there are still a lot of rules and certainly in today's celebrity culture there seems to be a different set of rules. The biggest contrast between Victorian society and our current one seems to be that now our mantras are "the more publicity the better" and "any press is good press," whereas in the Victorian era publicity and attention-seeking were shunned.


Posted May. 21, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lindah

Join Date: 04/17/14

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RE: What do Charlotte and Sis's comments say about Victorian society, and do you feel things have changed for the better or the worse?

Victorian society was structured along rigid class lines. Sisi frequently mentioned how one could serve in the Hungarian court system unless one was from a gentle family of at least four generations. Lineage, heritage, tradition and manners governed the upper and to an extent lower classes. One had little hope of crossing lines and there was little upward mobility or even a middle class beyond the merchant class. Relationships, friendships and marriages were largely predetermined and one must be ever mindful of the rules of the game and to observe customs. Education and war were the great levelers. At certain levels, as elise has commented, there is "old money" and a similar level of formality and expectation of maintaining relationships within the same social circle. There are still "inner circles" even in small towns based on family ties, jobs, schools...not as rigidly constrained as in Victorian society but present.


Posted May. 28, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
julianna

Join Date: 10/10/13

Posts: 29

RE: What do Charlotte and Sis's comments say about Victorian society, and do you feel things have changed for the better or the worse?

Victorian society had a rigid set of rules and a class system nearly impossible to penetrate. Charlotte and Sisi were well aware of the rules and class system. Indeed they each perceived Bay as beneath them socially but that didn't stop the attraction! Things have changed a lot some for the better in terms of access to education and therefore ability to move from one class to another. Behaviors, however, seem to have changed for the worse in terms of nasty tweets, internet and social bullying and offensive behaviors seemingly tolerated if one is a celebrity or part of an organized professional sport.


Posted May. 31, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carolea

Join Date: 10/06/12

Posts: 12

RE: What do Charlotte and Sis's comments say about Victorian society, and do you feel things have changed for the better or the worse?

I have always suspected there were women in Victorian Society who secretly [and some -not so much] who railed against the acceptable female boundaries. As one reads non-fiction you find some escaped with a sad shake of the society/family head and others paid a price. There is a movie re: Vivian Maher that tells the story of a gifted photographer of the American scene - not discovered until after her death - one reasons given - it was not as acceptable as being a nanny, Today dependent upon your family and geographic location there are still certain conformities that are expected of women; however, the rules are broken all the time and society does not crumble. IF there is head shaking and disappointment in deportment it is not noticed so for sure things have changed


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