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Queen Victoria believed that women should be educated and strongly promoted the establishment of a women’s college in 1847; however, she did not support the idea of women’s suffrage. She believed women were happiest when they were devoted solely to their marriage (Greenblatt 1581). Women of the higher classes did not have the same responsibilities as those of the lower classes. Upper and middle class Victorian women often sat around doing nothing because their household duties were taken care of by the lower class women who worked as servants and maids. Most women were encouraged not to work or commit themselves to any form of studying or art. Suffering from boredom was considered a luxury, for women were only expected to work during times of financial instability (Greenblatt 1582). Growing up during this time, Emily Bronte wrote Wuthering Heights in opposition of nineteenth century values on social class, women, and marriage. Much of Emily Bronte and her siblings’ literary work was influenced by their upbringing. Around the time Bronte wrote Wuthering Heights, Great Britain’s class system was being disrupted by the emergence of the middle class. Literary critic, Q.D. Leavis, claims the reason Emily Bronte chose to begin the novel at the time of the Industrial Revolution was “to fix its happenings at a time when the old rough farming culture, based on a naturally patriarchal family life, was to be challenged, tamed and routed by social and cultural changes; these changes produced Victorian class consciousness and ‘unnatural’ ideal of gentility” (Leavis qtd. in “Wuthering Heights as Socio-Economic Novel” 1). In this quote, Leavis discusses how in Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte sets the novel during a time at which many changes were made socially and culturally. In order to avoid the bias brought upon female authors, Emily Bronte and her sisters released their literary works under male pseudonyms. A year before the end of her battle with tuberculosis, Emily Bronte published Wuthering Heights under Ellis Bell (Landers 1). When Wuthering Heights was published in 1847, Bronte received mostly negative feedback. The book was not socially accepted until many years later due to its strong female characters (Juan 25). Though women during the Victorian period were expected to be the perfect housewife and mother, Emily Bronte d
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