Essay Sample: Opium in literature
As the nineteenth century was coming to an end and was in the threshold of entering the twentieth century, the image or the picture that London gave with its opium den was something which was dark, strange, filthy and mysterious which was visited by travellers who entered London through the port and brought with them diverse cultural differences. Opium when got an address through public imagination has always got negative connotations as something which is inaccessible and not permissible. Further, the opium den itself are considered dark where no or a very little movement was possible. So, it is worth noting that the Victorian opium den was not a tangible place with a fixed locale. It used to emerge from nowhere and it was as if that it slowly disappeared into the fumes with no sign of its existence. There were no given permanent address in Victorian London which was exclusive to the use of opium or acted like a pub or lounge. There was no newness of space. It was the age old house, which nobody would have imagined it to be an opium den where the deal was carried out. Mostly the dens, if we can call them so were nothing but boarding houses, where Chinese sailors rented rooms during their stays in the city and gathered to smoke opium on their free time. Interestingly, most opium houses were regular homes and it was hard to differentiate between homes and opium dens. Most opium houses were clean and maintained good levels of hygiene and most opium smokers were hard-workers and labourers.
It is important to trace the anti-opium movement to have a rough idea about how and where opium production and later consumption really began. The dates cannot be specified because it date back to age old histories. Opium was always viewed as the product of the East and thus instantly, it has the exotic appeal attached to it. Suddenly, there was tight security attached to the import and export of opium and other drug substances from the East especially China because it meant that the East was corrupting the minds of British and degrading their values by the illicit use of drugs and rampant sexuality. That rhetoric, in turn, saturated the health issues and other concerns about the opium problem at home and further tainted the image of the London opium den. But this gave birth to another factor. Urban exploration teamed with industrialization drew a binary between the observed and the observer, the consumer and the seller, and by large the opium market had bloomed and it was almost impossible to regulate underground activities.
The Knowledge of opium’s pathological effects goes back to at least 4,000 B.C., when Sumerians called the poppy as the plant of joy. The drug appears in the Odyssey, the Aeneid, Arab medical treatises, the Canterbury Tales and also, in Shakespeare’s Othello where the seeds of poppy are given importance for being sleep inducing. From the early days of opium use, the line between recreational narcotic and medicinal remedy was blurred, and doctors prescribed opiate mixtures for different types of bodily ailments. Hence, it was as if opium was freely available in the market but it was always kept as a topic hidden under the sheets of vigilance and supervision.
Charles Dickens’ The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1870) opens in an unhygienic East End opium den which becomes the epitome for the primary setting in a British novel. Dickens portrayed a London which was filthy with its opium production, often visited by mariners, travellers and Asian settlers who used to find shelters in these corners to sustain their consumption which was linked with addiction. John Jasper, the white pastor who smokes opium near Chinese and Indian clients, serves as a typical figure of a male opiate. He stands as an example of the anxieties and nausea felt by working class Victorian males about the so called Oriental infection, and he is later associated with being a murderer. But it is very important to keep in mind that alongside the bastions of male addict, there co-exists a different figure of the opiate too which is often lost in the shadows of male dominated dens or the whole field of addiction which is always seen as the phallocentric realm. This figure is of the female.
However, very early in the novel, but quite unexpected and shocking, we are introduced to a female character who is a very important figure in the den where Jasper keeps visiting. The female figure is always condemned for entering prohibited territories and same is the case with Princess Puffer who knew exactly the proportions to blend opium. Further, she had an insight about all her male clients, knowing well enough the disdain Jasper had for his nephew and the potential murder attached to it. Flaunting away her so called toxic knowledge, Princess Puffer took pride in saying that she created her own opium with daily objects found in the kitchen. Thus, he daily objects that holds the opium blend is an image not for the intrusion of the fascinating into the household, yet of the domestic, and specifically the feminine incorporating the exotic. Thus, the domestic goddess is always surrounded by layers of ambiguity.
Most importantly, the Princess uses penny ink-bottles which stands synonymous to the tools of a writer. Therefore, the moment Princess Puffer creates her own opium blends, she unknowingly challenges the norms and herself becomes the author of her own life and decisions. Interestingly, Victorian women chose to write under male pseudonyms to hide her identity and thus, trapped men in their own power circles because no one could actually differentiate a woman from a man and so on and so forth. This act of rising like a fume can be read as one of her moments of liberation. It is equally important for us to see that this takes place in front of man- Jasper, who is here dependent on Princess Puffer for his assumption. This inversion challenges the hierarchical status and suddenly we sense an unusual disruption in the power structures.
Princess Puffer, from the very beginning, is seen as the destroyer of categories but also the caretaker of a man’s need, over here it is Jasper. The question that arises is how do we localised Princess Puffer, someone who is exotic and destructive or someone who falls into the angel/monster dichotomy? Does the whole process signifies her addiction to either writing or opium as she uses the ink bottles? For such questions, there are no fixed answers and thus, she becomes someone who creates and recreates herself over and over again in an unsuccessful attempt to imply meaning which is eventually lost in the whole fiasco of finding oneself. This volatile amalgamation of women, drugs, and writing displays a very appalling affinity for drifting away and delineations of female drug addiction in Victorian writing to engage both in pleasures and perils in their exploration of roles and behaviours.
When we frequently scan through some of the popular opium addicts, the result that comes out is that they all are male: Thomas De Quincey, Dorian Gary, Sherlock Holmes and numerous others. This might not be shocking because we always consider such domains to be constructed by men for their purpose. Regardless of this consensus, it is somewhat shocking that in the canonical literature we have a very interesting yet complex character who is not only a female but also a child. This child is Lewis Carroll’s Alice. It is debatable that the substances Alice eats and devours up in Wonderland are never immediately labelled as drugs but her strange encounters with the drinks contained in jars, cakes composed of substances which numbs her mind, caterpillars who smoke up hookah and vast plantation of mushrooms and the symptoms she experiences thereafter, all which compels her to believe that she is in some dreamscape, and which distort her body’s sense of space and time can be very well read as drug consumption which has similar effects on both body and mind. Carroll himself wrote a book about mushrooms that depicted the effects of hallucinations and bizarre visualizations. Hence, such kind of dramatic representation was nothing new for the Londoncentric society. Thus, most Victorians knew and at least had a wild idea about the impact of opium both in pathological and sedative related causes and effects. Yet, even if the writer gave us a female character who was doing drugs, the society as a whole just overlooked the fact and treated the entire story as some sort of fairy tale in a way just evading the problems faced by the Victorian society. It was as if that if they overlooked it, the problem would cease to exist. Therefore, the portrayal of drugs use by female Victorians remains a topic which is not talked about openly.
The aim of this dissertation is to place and locate the female drug users and discuss the figure of the opiate in Victorian Literature. In focusing on gender, there is an attempt neither to focus on the pathological or health effects that opium as a drug have on humans, nor an attempt to focus on morality. However, how opium as a substance exist in society and the accessibility of a woman to attain it and the dynamics that surrounds it will be highlighted here. While Victorian depictions of male drug use shows that how addiction plays an important role in this whole consumption business. Again, this addiction is linked with destruction of self and others surrounding this self. The more you consume, the more addicted you become and thus, it is a never-ending process. Astonishingly, Victorian representations of female drug use tell a much different story.
Therefore, the figure of the opiate in Victorian literature serves as a catalyst for female characters to explore agency and to digress, if perhaps only temporarily, from her conventional trajectory toward marriage and motherhood. In examining this, we will see how the figure of the domestic goddess move away from British skirts and corsets and delve into dangerous yet self-liberating realms of self-actualisation. In these texts, the threat of the opiate comes not from outside, but from within; the threat here is not the loss of the self, but rather the discovery of a self that could destroy, or at least disrupt, a patriarchal society that wants to keep women in a fixed location and role.
As the figure of the opiate is the writing women, writing can be seen as something which challenge the already sanctioned structures and spaces. While, challenging the entire space, it brings about disruption. In the end, what is left for us is to interpret a given space as either utopian or dystopian depending on the consequences and given circumstances. Therefore, Jacques Derrida’s idea of the Pharmakon is important for the understanding of this argument. In “Plato’s Pharmacy,” Derrida experiments with the nature of writing by terming it as the Pharmakon, a Greek word meaning ‘drugs’ that means both ‘poison’ and ‘cure’. For Derrida, the fundamental duality of the word’s meaning reveals the that writing can be read as medium which can be a potential threat and cure at the same time. Thus, rendering it as an ambivalent term. The Pharmakon suggests that the play is a slippery arena where the laws, habits, natural, artificial everything comes in direct confrontation with each other and challenges each other’s existence from the start to the end. (Derrida, 70) Hence, it renders the whole enterprise of reading and writing as a state of sub-consciousness with no control whatsoever. This in turn, gives it a state which is similar to a state when a person goes through when under drug consumption and addiction. In doing so, the opiate becomes more important than the opium itself and thus it becomes very important for us to read in between the lines. Rather than projecting as a victim or the oppressed, the female figure here encapsulates an idea of alternative femininity, in a way giving us what femininity might entail within itself and not showing it as a water tight compartment. The conception of being a female and what femininity consists and surrounds is always challenged by the assumptions of the society and male figures who are in partnership with each other. But once this encounter between drugs and women is made, it opens up to new possibilities of role playing, hide and seek linked with curiosity, knowledge and the craving to take absolute power in one’s own hands. This gives space to a lot of new ideas and experimentation and thus, there is a constant engagement giving us ruptures which is essential to new possibilities. Thus, the victimised is not the victim. With such inversion, every time a new monolith is formed which challenges and breaks all the rule in the safari.
Hence, the figure of Princess Puffer is not and will never fall into the direct parameters of a stereotypical Victorian heroine. The figure of a Victorian heroine ranging from Jane Austen novels to Charles Dickens is one of the white, middle class ladies were supoosed to be respectable and of a marriageable age. For most female protagonists in Victorian domestic novels, the marriage plot dominates, and one could argue that the marriage plot plagues the novel till the end. Thus, the domestic goddess and the whole idea of ‘Angel of the House’ is important to understand. The figures of some Victorian women who thwart this path of marriage and motherhood are Alice of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Laura and Lizzie from “Goblin Market” which we will examine thoroughly.
One of the main reasons behind why Victorian drug use by women neglected in Victorian narratives could be credited to the long shadow Thomas De Quincey throws over the nineteenth century. Regardless of the fact, that opium, cocaine, and marijuana were legitimate and accessible without medicine and simple to get in Victorian England, sedative medication use in nineteenth-century Britain is connected with Romanticism, for example, Thomas De Quincey and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, whose addictions both pleasurable and painful are mentioned in diaries and other autobiographical writings. Drug use is often linked with creative energy and a level of liberation from everything thus, giving the users a space which is not fixed at all and all the freedom attached with it. The most popular opium addict of the nineteenth century Britain and also who stands unchallenged in the domain of drug consumption and addiction of any time remains Thomas De Quincey, whose 1821 journal Confessions of an English Opium-Eater intensely affected the writings which included opium as a subject. De Quincey became famous and procured a reputation in the world because of his infamous work and opium became a medium for him to get his daily wage and a source of all he affluence attached with his life.
The Sherlock Holmes story The Man with the Twisted Lip commences with the statement of Dr Watson who was influenced by De Quincey’s writings when he as a child read it in school and always had the urge to try such substances. He mentions that the moment he was all grown up, he took the opportunity and ended up tinting his tobacco with laudanum and shortly, became excessively dependent on smoking opium. Essentially, in all these cases we find young, working class white men on missions for intellectual growth and experience who have access to power. and can manipulate the ways of society in which they are living in. Dr Watson tried drugs because h very well understood the fact that this would make him more vigilant and a keen observer in the longer run as his sensory perception will be magnified to some extent.
Near the end of the Confessions, De Quincey asserts that the not the opium eater but it is the opium which is the true hero of the tale and the legitimate centre in which the interests revolves. Thus, it readily becomes the active agent that produces opposite effects- both pleasure and pain. It becomes the trope that particularly induces the interplay and collapse of binaries, such as pleasure and pain. Thus, in Derridean terms, the centre is always in a state of flux. Few binaries that are challenged are Pleasure/Pain, Medicinal/Recreational, East/West, Conscious/Unconscious.
The Figure of the Opiate
While rigid and inflexible taboos existed against women of high class and affluence against smoking or drinking liquor openly in public spheres, it is interesting to note that often these ladies were prescribed the same solution or mixture in their private spaces by men. It is however, noteworthy that women coming out of low strata of the society got drunk and smoked up but they were already considered a ‘fallen woman’, thus they were never the part of the society. There was a thin line between the medicinal goals and it was always mixed with the recreational pleasure that the women delved into. But It was more of sanctioned liberty that men in power gave to women. Huge numbers of the remedies women got were for so called supposed female grievances, for example, menstrual or labour torment, or for emotional instability such as, insanity, and ‘hysteria’.
It is an acknowledged fact that Queen Victoria, the public figure who represented femininity herself was prescribed chloroform when she was about to give birth to her fifthcild in 1853 and was supposed to have taken weed to relieve herself from the menstrual pain. She is said to have given a tribute in acclaim of Vin Mariani, a coca wine tonic said unwind the nerves of the body giving a sense of calmness and relaxation. In her diary, she wrote that her labour was smooth due to the fact, that she was given anaesthesia. The Queen stated that Dr Snow who is the innovator of the chloroform inhaler gave her some chloroform which had happy effects in her body. She did not just felt the reduction in pain, but she experienced a different sort of happy emotions and delight. Queen Victoria termed the whole process as something which she could not get down to express or comprehend but as something which could only be felt. Considering the fact, that chloroform produces raptures and mind flights, proposes that even if it is ingested in the body to serve as a medicinal backup, still one cannot overlook or erase from the memory the lapses of adrenaline rush one gets subjected to and thus, the whole feeling of hanging on to this good feeling is one of the biggest human tendency.
It was just not Queen Victoria but other Victorian women have made entries in their diaries claiming that the women are guilty of taking chloroform as an excuse to medical backup. But the real cause is that it used to make them feel out-of-the-world and the impacts drugs created on their brains and bodies and the adrenaline rush their body was used to. The popular French on-screen character Sarah Bernhardt, herself confesses that during one of her performances, she was guilty of taking drugs. Initially, her body was weak and she was running fever. But after the subsequent dosage, she glided through her stage performance in manners she herself was unaware of and her voice could be heard till distant far off places. And in the end, her performance was a super hit and she won an award for it as well. She claims that she was under the spell that is made by chloroform, morphine, opium, or hashish, proposing to have invested in all these substances. (Roth, 55)
Anaesthesia came out to be one of the biggest discoveries in the field of medical science and was soothing the agony of operations and different sorts of diseases, but somewhere under the layers it was making women dependent on such drugs. It was like there was this particular internalization that was happening and this was impossible to evade. Interestingly, the drugs were prescribed to women by male doctors and thus, it was a complicated dynamic played by patriarchy on its side. It was as if the drugs were prescribed for men by men and hence, the cautionary tale followed. It was as if women were given a sanctioned liberty by men but they dare not cross the boundaries that have been created for them on the very pretext of their own safety. Artist Lizzie Siddal, observed Pre-Raphaelite and the spouse of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, became so dependent on the laudanum her specialist prescribed to quiet her nerves and to calm the agony she felt due to stomach related problems. Advanced medication which comprised of some drugs and steroids resulted in tremendous weight loss. As a result, when her body could not cope with the excessive dosage and was always left with a wanting for some more, she knew she was trapped in the vicious circle of life, rehabilitation and death. In the end, she committed suicide by drugs overdose and put an end to all the torture and trauma she had to bear. Visual images of women and drugs were more public in the Victorian era than the autobiographical writing, and if the typical drug user is male, his drug is often personified as female. For example, absinthe was always referred to as the green fairy while the consumer was a Caucasian male.
This potential arises from a family allegory Derrida finds in Plato, in which the father is part of logos, and he is at a constant war with the child who comprises of the pharmakon. While the mother is a related with the khōra, or womb, she remains suppressed throughout. As a result, she enters once or is never a participant in the father-child dynamic. Feminist writers like Judith Butler have evaluated this idea of the khōra, on the ground, that it assigns the mother-figure as constantly engraved upon. She never becomes the inscriber and a dynamic member and is only reduced to a figment of one’s imagination. Hence, the female figure is placed within the fulcrum of potential where she acts like a pulley who produces various activities giving out energy. She is invariably in touch with the potential or in the later stages become the site of this on-going process but she never becomes the attorney of power. the For Luce Irigaray, the women then becomes a transaction between men which complies with their own standard of measurements, obviously benefitting them in the process.
It should be kept in in mind that both the father and the mother have fixed location and thus, their movement is limited. But, the child is not and in Derridean terms can be said to be in flux. This change is important. Therefore, the child is seen as potency – someone who is having potential. The future is yet to be written and thus, it is not stained with the past power structures. Hence, potential for the girls in texts to stray from convention gains confidence from the discovery of a substance which is equivalent to the power that men have. This further activates the slippery play and interplay of meaning and language, of signs and symbols and also, juxtaposes the life threatening as well as self-healing discourse of such terms. So, this cracks act as a source of medium and also, the loophole where all the inversion takes places. It is as if one has to go through these fissures to understand the role of language/meaning, pain/ pleasure dynamic that is offering yet challenging. It is as if the kinetic energy waits to get converted to potential energy and then bombard all the power structures encapsulating its domain.
The figure of the girl child does not act as a white canvass or an empty space which waits to be written at and written for. They become the perpetrator of their own destinies as they take responsibilities of their actions and obviously, themselves. The girl-children in Alice’s Adventures and Goblin Market quest for identity and experience. These girls are repeatedly assaulted by the logos comprising the men through the Pharmakon. It should be kept in mind that the idea of pharmakon acts as a metaphor which Derrida chooses to align the representations of writing and the ambivalent definition it generates. It can both be cure and posion at the same time. One has to remind oneself that the Pharmakon stems out from the story where one of the Gods offered writing as an alternative for forgetfulness. But the king objected to this idea stating that writing is just reminding and not remembering and thus, it occupied a problematic space. The Pharmakon in these texts appears as a drug-figure that attracts and tempts the female to stray from conventional femininity into a space which is open to endless plays and meanings. Therefore, it creates a certain anxiety. The story revolves around children, therefore, the basic theme that concerns the importance of such narration is the theme of growth- the growth of a child to a woman, the growth and recognition of desires, the growth to acknowledge and situate oneself as ‘self’ and to have the control over the bodies. All these themes work hand in hand, exposing the idea of desire, wanting, needs when one comes in direct contact with the outside space. Alice oscillates from being a Lilliput to a giant, and is constantly is in want of a substance which could induce such changes demonstrates the fact that however we wish to avoid what a woman should be and what she should not be, constantly and repeatedly haunts the mind of the society, especially me. Such on and off oscillation depicts a disruption which threatens the super structure.
If the figure of the opiate and the opium consumption, on one hand, provides an escape, even though if it is not permanent, from the domestic household; on the other hand, it aims to dismantle the innocence which is a very important trait of petty childhood. This serves as a metaphor for the changing and altering consciousness of what childhood is supposed to be and what it becomes, in a way, it tempts girls into a behaviour that challenges conventional femininity, and makes them authors of their own storytelling. Thus, this disruption of power structure is important and it becomes equally important for us to remember that power cannot be destroyed, it can only be passed down. For Victorian girls, innocence should last at least until marriage, if not beyond, and the sexual appeal of young, marriageable women is properly based on her innocence rather than her knowledge.
Childhood itself is in constant struggle for both power and space where the people worry more about how the child turns out than about how the child exists as a child. Alice, for example, can be as odd and erratic as she likes to be in her dreams and in her won comfortable space, as long as she imagines herself narrating her stories to other children when she is an adult with a dose of didactism. Thus, the utopian space the child inhabits is problematic. This is because this space is given to her only till when it does not challenge the given power structure the male inhabits. The moment they sense it to be dangerous, it is quickly snatched away from her in the pretext of she being the child. This abnormality and irrationality, both in the sense of sexuality and the potential it thrives on, which shares an affinity with curiosity in Alice’ s Adventures and Goblin Market derives from the imagination: the ability to imagine ideas that exist outside or at least on the periphery of what is generally considered normal or rational. While some theorist may observe that our understanding of childhood revolves around sexuality dealing with knowledge or experience of sexuality, puberty, etc., it is also different from the way we function and imagine our lives to be. For example, most children wish to become astronauts or doctors or something which lures them. However, once they grow old their ideas are a total contrast of what it used to be when they were children their imagination changes with perception of the world around them. It can be so that as adults they want to be painters, musicians or nothing at all. Childhood is the first ladder in the stage in human development during which imagination is heightened and rationality lowered in comparison to adulthood; children are regularly permitted and even encouraged to imagine things which are not even present, while the same behaviour in adults would primarily be diagnosed as psychosis or the effects of hallucinogenic drug use, such as having imaginary friends, talking to oneself for long continuous hours, believing in angels and demons and so on and so forth.
Drug theorist David Lenson goes on to explain some extraordinary and differed childhood behaviour which highlights addiction. Laura is called sweet-tooth and it is a known fact that being sweet tooth is a weakness of many people. They just cannot do away with sweets even if they suffer from medical conditions like diabetes. Similarly, it is recorded that this type of addiction is also find in caffeine lovers. They require their cups of tea and coffee in the order of the day. If they are deprived of it, then they tend to show symptoms like headache, nausea, uneasiness and discomfort. Sugar may be the primitive drugs for children. Children’s likeness for sweets clearly resembles drug hunger at its most urgent. (Boyd,159). Another drug theorist goes so far as to claim that very young children seek a state of numbness and unconsciousness without even taking any substances inducing such symptoms. Children ranging from three- and four-year-olds, for example, commonly by whirling and rotating themselves into giddy inertia or stupors. They hyperventilate and have other children squeeze them around the chest until they faint. They also choke each other to produce loss of consciousness and to provide themselves giddy sensations. (Anderson, 16). Therefore, many psychologist claim that such actions demonstrate a natural likeness for behaviours that are common in adults when under the use of drugs. If the usage of sugar to get high and vertiginous stupors looks like a far-fetched idea, then the imagery and an affinity towards bright colours like red, yellow or communication with animals, going for rides which gives adrenaline rush or playing with mirrors, breaking distortions all display a strange representation of a children’s world which is not that different from the adult’s world as they show different but same levels of psychosis. Same is the case of consuming cough syrup because it gives a euphoric feeling and a sense of dizziness. These activities resonate with adult’s idea of hallucinations and mind trips.
In Elizabeth Gaskell’s (1848), incorporates Mary’s dad’s opium consumption and her close relative’s liquor addiction, the storyteller portrays the act of sustaining poverty stricken youngsters opium, which was less expensive than nourishment, keeping in mind the end goal to calm their hunger pangs. Opium was readily available in the market. This made it an item which was easy to get and cheap in context of money. So, this made the parents feel that it was better to make their child consume opium which would keep them satiated for a longer time and in the process helped them to save money as well. While Gaskell totally condemns the use and production of opium, she urges her users to consider the cruel living conditions that drive her average worker characters to solace themselves with it. The result is full of empathy as it has as sense of meaningful apology attached with it. Harm once done is done and the adverse effects is life threatening to both children and their parents. Thus, the reality is way sad and grim as compared to the happy imagination of every fanciful child.
William Makepeace Thackeray’s Vanity Fair approaches the subject of infant dosing differently from an angled view of class conflict. Here, in front of us lies a conflict between generations regarding the care of a child, which later turns into a misunderstanding between Mrs. Sedley and her daughter. However, this gap was never mended and repaired. One day unfortunately, Amelia has a fight with her mom. In the episode, whereupon Amelia hurls the whole jug of Elixir into the chimney, announcing that she will just trust the specialist, who told her earlier that Daffy’s Elixir was toxic substance. Mrs. Sedley is so irritated by such uncalled behaviour that it attacks her maternal instincts that she makes it a point never to forgive both the sides. That Daffy’s Elixir thus exposes the rhetoric surrounding child raising along with drug or medication use such as Daffy’s Elixir mentioned here. Although, over strict and over protective emotional parents are condemned herein the story and life in general.
In all depictions, one thing which remains stable is the ability of a woman to raise her children well and thus, straightway fall into the category of a homemaker, a wife, a mother without participating and investing in any other form of relationship. But the connection between women and children extends even beyond the maternal bond. Whether as primary caretakers of children or as adults expected to be moral and dependent, female Victorian characters, even though are invariably associated ad linked with children even if they don’t show any overt sign of parenting or the desire for the same. And one cannot escape this equation at any cost. As both children who ingest drug-like substances and as prospective mothers, Laura and Lizzie, both become mothers at the end of Goblin Market, while Alice’s sister imagines children gathered around them. This relationship ]represents a temporary escape or permission for some sort of waywardness or naughtiness which falls adjacently to escaping male domination.
The figure of the opiate provides a cover or excuse for bad or out of the box behaviour for women. The girls in Alice’s Adventures and Goblin Market also behave naughtily, straying from their families, exploring the world sensually, ignoring good advice, and generally resisting the logic presented to them. Other Victorian girls such as the young Jane Eyre and Maggie Tulliver delight in being unruly, playful, imaginative, and even revengeful, naughty little girls who attempt and sometimes fail to repress their urges in order, to become so called good girl and later good adults. While the spirit of Jane’s mother and the foolishness of Maggie’s play significant roles in how these characters are perceived, Laura and Lizzie appear to be already self-sufficient girls, while Alice never mentions her mother and spends most of the book on her own as well, although the figure of the sister and the confidant figures prominently in both texts. Besides, while Jane and Maggie’s childhoods become a prologue to their latter lives as adults concerning issues of marriage and courtship, Alice turns into a grown up young girl in someone’s dream and Laura and Lizzie become mother figures without any mention of husbands. It suggests the biblical context of women who they should always keep their morality first like the Virgin Mary who was never impregnated but bore a child out of divine intervention who was called the Son of God and the redeemer of Mankind. The body becomes the site and language and meaning is at constant play with each other and the journey from a child to wanton is shown in some wanton light where endless possibilities are written and rewritten and still waiting to be written.
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