College of Arts and Sciences
George Bernard Shaw, Theater, Drama, Dialectic, Hegel, Feminism, Gender, Patriarchy
Arts and Humanities | English Language and Literature | Literature in English, British Isles
Meijer, Catherine, "A Dialectic of Victorian Ideals in Shaw’s Mrs. Warren’s Profession and Candida" (2020). Senior Honors Theses. 1019.
During the Victorian Era, English society experienced societal changes as they adjusted to an industrialized economy, considered the role of women in the home, and tried to reconcile faith with new scientific discoveries that led to conflicting ideals. George Bernard Shaw, who began writing towards the end of the Victorian period satirized ideals that Victorian society held dear, like the glorification of female virtue and the domestic sphere. Shaw, with his iconic wit and iconoclastic themes, subverts Victorian ideals of femininity in his dramatic works. In Mrs. Warren’s Profession and Candida, characters and ideals react against each other in a dialectical pattern. Both Vivie and Candida embody and reject aspects of the female Victorian ideal, demonstrating Shaw’s subversion of those idealistic tropes.