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Source 5 indubitably agrees with the hypothesis, since the same historian, Trevor May wrote it.

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Introduction

Source 5 indubitably agrees with the hypothesis, since the same historian, Trevor May wrote it. The essence of May's statement particularly gives an insight about the divested lives of middle class women, during the early Victorian epoch, due to the flawed legal system and societies (men's) ideology, in which women were seen as mere property of their husband, as they were seen as minors. The Industrial Revolution undermined the traditional customs of women radically, and the notation that 'a woman could not work and be a lady' developed. Thus middle and upper class women were denied jobs of worthy status, and instead were thought that marriage was their main objective in life. The source clearly indicates the presence of a male dominated society where roles exist. For example the law ignores the rights of women over their children, and that it was acceptable for men to work, whereas if a women did so she would have been alienated from society. ...read more.

Middle

Nightingale (an upper class woman) seems to be supervising the maiden, which show traits of a lady. She is working voluntarily for a benevolent cause of helping wounded soldiers; thus her womanhood is not threatened. However it was still abnormal for a woman to work, and it's probably for this reason the soldier in the background is staring at both women. On a positive aspect the fact that women are working could be seen as signs for optimism. Similarly in source 4b a male is supervising the women workers. Assuming they are of working class origin the statement does not relate to them as they have the right to work for means of survival. Source 4c clearly shows women participating in physical labour, which is not the norm. However it is an exception taking into account that it was probably taken during the time of conscription in WW1.Furthermore the picture was taken many decades after the early Victorian era. ...read more.

Conclusion

The humorous caption 'WHO WOULDN'T BE A DRAWING MASTER!' is implying that the subject was too facile, and that anyone could pass and be a drawing master. However at the same time it is contradicting with the issue of 'role'. To many people this profession may seem feminine as men were expected to take part in active work. Furthermore the integrity of the source may be questioned, as this is an extract from a middle class men journal, and could potentially be biased against women. Collectively, most sources agree to the subordinate roles of women and the dominance of men, to a large extent. However there is no decisive evidence regarding the issue of 'particular roles' referred by May. This was possibly due to time differences (e.g. Source 4b & 4c), compared to the period May was referring to (early Victorian era/ 1836-1850), and not all sources reflected the perspectives of middle class women (sources 2 and 4). ...read more.

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