Attitude toward women in Thackeray's "Catherine", Collins's "Man and Wife", and Dickens's "Dombey and Son" (William Makepeace Thackeray, William Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens)
Master of Arts
Catherine, Man and Wife, and Dombey and Son will be compared with respect to their treatment of women characters. Each novel is either sympathetic to feminism and the treatment of women as equals, or constraining in its attitudes toward women. This assessment will be based on the fate of the rebellious woman character, the degree of conventionality found in its women characters and whether the attitudes toward women expressed generally in the novel are enlightened, or conventional. Also discussed will be how novels by nineteenth-century British novelists such as Thackeray and Collins and nineteenth-century British marriage laws were interrelated. In each of the three novels, there is one unconventional independent woman character whose presence encourages the reader to be sympathetic to women's concerns. However, if the novel views the rebellious woman character negatively and punishes her, then the novel did not accept this new woman.