Women in the nineteenth century were the worst victims of patriarchy, socio-cultural norms and class difference. It was not a good time for women. In the Victorian era, women did not have the right to vote, own property or come out of the violent marriage. This picture has been painted by many writers of the time. Of all the Victorian novelists, Eliot and Hardy have the gifted ability to chart the women situation from all angles. Both writers show that women had few rights and privileges. The socio-cultural and economic factors further contributed to women’s oppression. Women were expected to remain attached to the domestic sphere. Marriage is one such institution, which during the Victorian period became a tool for women’s exploitation and subjugation. The heroines and protagonists suffer due to social and moral taboos. Mismatch in marriage leads to several problems for the couple and their respective families. George Eliot in her novel Middlemarch and Thomas Hardy in his work The Return of the Native, portray the heroines who decide to step into life that is just contrary to their expectations and later regret their decisions. This paper would attempt to analyze the repercussions of their choices and compare their nature and the line of action these heroines take to deal with the situation they are placed into.
Najia Asrar Zaidi, Fouzia Rahman Khan, Saima Manzoor. (2017) WOMEN AND MARRIAGE IN MIDDLEMARCH AND THE RETURN OF THE NATIVE, Journal of Social Science and Humanities, Volume 56, Issue 2.