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Farther on we came upon a house.

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This house has all the latest improvements. I don't want to go, and besides it's too late. Besides fruit we're going to have ice cream. I'll bet you can't guess what happened to me today. I'm amazed at his nerve. He admired his friend's work. They were amazed at his courage. He was admitted to the engineering school.

He doesn't allow interruptions. You can't go where I'm going. Where are you going? They adopted a little girl. They've adopted a new plan. He assumed an air of great importance. The room's nicely fixed up for the party. The dress was trimmed with lace. They paid customs duties. I noticed some mistakes in his report. I'm warning you not to do it again. I told you so. He has regard for all his office companions.

I'm a great baseball fan. This is an amateur company. He's very fond of reading. He's become fond of sports. He's one of my in-laws. The loss of their mother grieved them very much. They grieved over their friend's misfortune. Loosen the bandage a little. Don't slacken in your work in war time. The storm let up. They live in the suburbs. Bend down; the ceiling's very low. Hold the rope tight. I caught an awful cold. She caught hold of my arm so she wouldn't fall.

He's agent for a big insurance company. The company's sent several representatives to discuss the matter. Ask the policeman where St. He's quick in his movements. She has a very quick mind. Shake well before using. The politician stirred up the workers. When she heard it she got very excited. They ran through the inheritance. He's wearing himself out working so much. The edition went out of print quickly. The provisions gave out in a short time.


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I appreciate your kindness. I thanked him very much for his help. They're going to enlarge their store. This makes the situation worse. The patient got worse. We saw the military attache of the American Embassy. You have to add more details to the report. He wants a glass of cold water. We're having a rainy spell. You're right, that's as clear as crystal. Last night's storm washed out the road. Don't be a wet blanket. It's amazing how much he can stand.

You have to take it. We expect him tomorrow at ten o'clock. I've been waiting for you for hours. The knife had a very sharp point. He's a very clever boy. She has a very high-pitched voice. He's always making such witty remarks! The two streets form an acute angle. What would you like after dinner — coffee, tea, or mint water? Do you have a needle to sew on these buttons?

One of the hands has fallen off my watch. The train's passed the switch. Sharpen the end of the stick a little. He pricked up his ears. What have you got there in your pocket? Your hat's somewhere around here. Hello there, what's new? He tried to choke him. Many animals were drowned in the flood. This room's so small and hot that I'm suffocating. I'm going home now. Now, what do you think? Now then, let's get this problem cleared up. Do it right away. We'll do it this way from now on.

Up to now we've never had this problem. We have enough food for the present. They hanged him the same day. We're going to see him right now. How much have we saved this month? The air in this room's very stuffy. There's a very strong wind blowing. He looks like a millionaire. He looked very tired. We spent three hours in the open air. Se da aires de persona importante. He puts on airs. Don't meddle in other people's affairs.

You have to tighten those screws. This cover doesn't fit. They met to decide peace terms. He lifted the trunk to show off his strength. The sleeves of this coat have to be lengthened. Would you hand me the suitcase, please? The children are making a lot of noise. He's always short of money. They caught up with us quickly. I can't reach that can of tomatoes. He reached the rank of general. From here I can't see it.

The flowers will brighten up the table. I'm very glad to see you. Why are you so happy today? They're very cheerful people. What a bright-colored suit that is! He's a little tipsy. He showed great joy when he saw him. He was ill, but today he's all right. She needs a little cheering up. Encourage him to do it. Have you something to tell me? It seems rather expensive to me. Have you got some money? You must have a reason for telling me. I don't know whether this'll be of any use to you.

Somebody's knocking at the door. I hope you'll come again some day. I want to ask you some questions. Do you want to ask me any questions? Do you need anything else? He visits us now and then.

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Some people have no patience. He was out of breath when he got here. Es una persona de muchos alientos. He's a very energetic person. We have to lighten the load. Hurry up, it's late. This food's not nourishing enough. He enlisted in the Foreign Legion. We'd better get ready early because the train won't wait. He's up there waiting for you. Your friends are in there. Let's go that way. The village is beyond those trees. I saw 'em over there a while ago.

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Put it over there. His house is there on the right. She lives far from there. From there one could see perfectly. He says we should go that way. It's a town of people. Lo siento en el alma. Lo voy a consultar con la almohada. I'm going to sleep on it i. They rented a house. They were sitting around the table. It cost about thirty pesos. We have to make some changes in our plans.

He showed signs of great emotion. There were disorders all over the country. His coming changed our lives completely. Don't get excited; it's nothing. What's that very tall building? He talked to a high official of the Treasury Department. Prices are very high in this store. Don't talk so loud. He returned very late at night. They live in the upper story of that house. The house is on top of the hill. We've overlooked many important facts. We stopped along the way to have lunch. The soldiers halted at the entrance to the town. I don't feel well at such a high altitude.

The lighting's poor in this part of the city. The street lamps don't give enough light. Can you light the way? He didn't raise his eyes from the book. They revolted against the government. He stole the money. In the summer it dawns earlier than in the winter. That guy's very embittered. He makes life miserable for everyone around him. He couldn't stand the bitterness of the coffee.

His misfortunes caused him great bitterness. They soon became friends. He made friends with John. He got acquainted there in a short time. We talked with the owner of the house. Don't tell the boss. He likes to talk of love. He's found a new love. He has too much pride. He was peeved by what you said. I want an enlargement of this photograph. They furnished the house very luxuriously. Do you think the road's wide enough for cars? This suit's too big for me.

What's the width of the material? We took a long hike up to the summit. You're a great gadabout, my boy. It's too far to walk. The train began to move. Is that clock going? I've been chasing around all day. He didn't win the prize, but he came close to it. The child's going on seven.

The jockey fell right by the rail. The liveliness of the gathering surprised me. Don't be a jackass! Let's encourage the players. His arrival pepped up the party. I'm urging him to come with us. He was in good spirits. She cheered him up because he was depressed. It gets dark at five now. I'm anxious to meet her. The year before last we went to Europe. I told you that before. This street used to have another name. Let's eat before we go. They left before we arrived. Above all, don't forget to write me.

He lent me 30 pesos. They advanced the date of the party. They arrived half an hour early. He got ahead of me. She likes to dress in an old-fashioned way. She does whatever comes into her mind. Lo hago porque se me antoja. I do it because I take a notion to. I'm twenty years old. Put out the light. The lights went out. He was surprised by the sudden appearance of his friend. That's a separate question. Put this package aside. Don't get off while the vehicle's in motion. They were grieved by the illness of their aunt.

We were worried because we weren't getting any news. He can hardly walk. Let me know as soon as he comes. He got very depressed after his failure. They crushed all resistance. They flattened his nose. They flattened themselves against the wall. They put a coat of paint on the chair. How much do you bet? I bet I get there before you. Rest your foot on that step. No one supported his motion. I second the motion. He's leaning on a cane. I have great respect for him. Don't walk so fast; we'll get there on time. Please hurry; we're late already.

This collar's too tight. He pressed down on the suitcase to close it. He gripped my hand. The runner sprinted on the last lap. There was such a crowd that nobody saw anything. He does everything very quickly. I don't approve of his conduct. Did you pass your math exam? The boss had to advance him some money. She made use of all the left-overs. Don't let him take advantage of you. Don't go too near the fire. You're aiming too low to hit the target.

Jot it down in your notebook. They drained their glasses. The situation worries me very much. I bought that scarf we looked at yesterday. I like this book better than that one. I'll wait for you in here. From now on we'll have to spend less money. Wet firewood doesn't burn well. I was burned up by what he said. His arguments don't convince me. I didn't like the plot of the movie. They armed the people. The machine has to be assembled. They made a big racket last night. The mules balked halfway there. He armed himself with a pistol. He built up a good business in a short time. He's always making a mess of things.

He's always broke at the end of the month. Three pages have been torn out. We saw the car start. On a sudden impulse I returned to my home town. This car has a self-starter. He gets everything because he's a bootlicker. He was dragged along by the current. Be careful, your coat's dragging. They crawled out of the cave. Is everything arranged for the trip? I think they'll fix the radio this afternoon. Tidy up a bit and we'll go to the movies. How can I manage to finish on time?

We did it according to your instructions. Do you want to rent your house? I want to rent a room. You'll be sorry for this. They live two flights up. The bedrooms are upstairs. It's past the square. He looked him up and down. From above one could see the river. The car was going up. The hat was dirty around the top. He doesn't mind risking his life. If we don't take risks we'll never get anything done. Don't put the table so close to the wall. Give me a hand! Don't throw things out the window. That rope has to be coiled. They were trampled by the crowd. That man ruined them completely.

He was ruined by that business. Are you interested in art? He presents his arguments with great skill. Read the article on page two. They sell sporting goods. Let's roast the chestnuts. It's roasting in this room. The balloon went up slowly. He was promoted three times in one year. The bill amounted to pesos. He refused the food with disgust. Those things disgust me.

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Don't come near me; you're filthy. He turns up his nose at everything. He fastened the horse's pack with a rope. I assure you everything will be ready on time. He maintains it's true. The baggage is insured. First make sure the information's correct. He took out accident insurance.

That's the way it is.


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You must do it this way. And so they decided to act immediately. I don't say it without reason. I'll let you know as soon as I get there. Your attendance isn't necessary. I took care of him during his illness. Were you present at the meeting? The wash'll have to be put in the sun to dry. They were taking a sun bath on the beach.

He put his head out of the window. It's forbidden to lean out of windows. He amazes everybody by his cleverness. I'm amazed that you say that. He assumed full responsibility. What's the subject of that play? Don't meddle in my affairs. Your screams frightened me. She's frightened by loud noises. If we go this way we'll catch up with 'em. He cut him short by saying no.

Lace your shoes up tight. When I heard that I put two and two together. I've danced so much that I'm dizzy. The announcer called for attention. I'll never forget your kindness. She likes to attract attention. I reprimanded him for his insolence. The clerk waited on them immediately. Please pay attention to what I'm saying. He takes very good care of his guests. I don't know what to depend on. There was an attempt on the life of the president.

Su atento seguro servidor. He guessed the amount of money I had in my pocket. He didn't succeed in explaining what he wanted. I can't find the keyhole. I've never seen such a scatterbrain. What an attractive woman! She's very pretty but she has no appeal. She's back there with some friends. Don't back up; there's a tree behind you. She stayed behind with some friends. This'll delay my trip a long time. I have to set my watch back; it's very fast. My watch loses ten minutes a day. I think we're getting behind in this work.

The backwardness of that country's well known. The bullet pierced his arm. I've crossed the Atlantic several times. A truck stopped crosswise in the middle of the road. He doesn't dare to tell me. What a horrible thing! An automobile ran over him. If you want to do a good job, don't rush through it. We can't tolerate such an outrage. Three pedestrians were victims of an accident. So much noise rattles me. He was stunned and didn't know what to answer. We can still get there on time. Even now it wouldn't be possible. He hasn't come yet. Even if he doesn't come we'll have to begin.

Though I wasn't born in the country, I know it very well. He left the class because he was feeling sick. Is there enough room in the car for everybody? Which is cheaper, the bus or the street car? He couldn't maintain his authority. They reported it to the authorities. The car moved very slowly. We're not making any progress in our work. The floods ruined the crops. He agreed to what they said. He's a very promising young man.

He gets ahead of everybody in his work. He shamed his whole family by his conduct. After he said it, he was ashamed. The mechanic repaired the damage without delay. The shipment was damaged by the rain. We have to notify the police. I'm warning you for the last time. They revived the fire by putting on more wood. Why don't you keep your eyes open? Step lively; it's very late. Wake up; you're half asleep. I want to help him carry the packages.

Don't smoke on an empty stomach. Let's take that chance. He likes games of chance. He chose them at random. This would embarrass anyone. When I told him that he was very much embarrassed. The enemy suffered many casualties. There was a general fall in prices. He dropped out of the club. For lack of payment they dropped him from the subscription list. Let's go down the stairs slowly. Bring the suitcase down from my room. Will you help me take the suitcases down from the rack?

They saw us as they were getting off the train. He bent over to tie his shoe. I want a low table. He's shorter than his brother. They were speaking in a low voice. Let's put the basses on the left. The temperature's fallen below zero. The superintendent lives on the ground floor. What's my bank balance this month? Don't rock in the chair; it's going to break. Three shots were heard. He had three bullet wounds in his chest. They're giving tickets free. He tried to get her on the phone without success. Can I cash my check in this bank? All the benches are taken. The skirt had three red bands.

He wore a red sash across his chest. That band gives me a headache. A gang of thieves works these parts. Please bathe the children. I'm going to take a bath. It's very pretty and besides it's cheap. They sell things very cheap in this store. There's a sale today in that department store. He eats too much. What he did was an outrage. I like her an awful lot. How many times have you made the trip by boat? We need an iron bar. The spectators cheered the players on.

He dicho que te calles. I told you to shut up! Do you have enough money? She's a rather pretty woman. There wasn't enough food for all. The suit's made of very rough material. Please beat the eggs. He defeated his enemy. They haven't unpacked their trunks yet. He doesn't appreciate favors. The profits were very high. He doesn't know the difference between good and evil. He spoke very well. The beer's very cold. He has a great deal of property. He's rich rather than poor. All right or Correct.

Pay close attention to what I tell you. Have you bought the tickets? Give me the money in fives and tens. You have to put a screen in front of the door. I wish I'd bought a white dress! There are white people, Indians, and Negroes in this city. They hit the target. Leave this sheet blank. They hit the mark three times.

The soldiers had target practice in the morning. He didn't open his mouth all afternoon. The subway entrance is on the corner. The child's sleeping on his stomach. According to Nancy Armstrong, the novel served to establish bourgeois cultural hegemony, for by focusing on "a struggle to say what made women desirable," novels functioned as part of the drive to create a political unconscious, a state of affairs in which gender, not class, would mark the most important differences among individuals.

Miller, to name but a few. The discoveries and aims of this body of scholarship inform this book so pervasively that I have not always cited individual authors. The tactics I have used for interpreting the texts under discussion are also indebted, to a lesser extent, to certain facets of modern Marxist work on ideology, particularly that of Pierre Macherey and Catherine Belsey, and to Bakhtin's work on language, particularly his notion of heteroglossia.

These have been particularly suggestive for me in indicating a type of critical practice that seeks out "not the unity of the work, but the multiplicity and diversity of its possible meanings, its incompleteness, the omissions which it displays but cannot describe, and above all its contradictions. In its absences, and in the collisions between its divergent meanings, the text implicitly criticizes its own ideology; it contains within itself the critique of its own values. However, what made his texts interesting for me, as I read and reread them, was precisely the contradictions and paradoxes in them.

Envisioning ideology, in Toril Moi's formulation, not as a seamless and unified edifice but as a " contradictory construct, marked by gaps, slides and inconsistencies," working precisely to suppress the recognition of its own contradictions, allows us, by struggling to foreground those inconsistencies, "to take an active part in transforming [ideology] by producing new meanings. The texts studied here position the reader both inside and outside the dominant ideology of gender and thus can be seen as containing—in both senses—the feminist impulse they simultaneously display.

The novels can be said to have a feminist impulse at all not because they have "strong" women characters, as. I shall be charting the writer's dialectical relation with the nineteenth century's models of gender, both within individual novels and, on a larger scale, over the course of his career. Yet, as I illustrate, there are certain fundamental similarities between such apparently discrete tropes as the suffering woman, the spiritual woman, and the new woman—which became hallmarks of different periods in his writing—and the popular image of woman as guardian angel of the domestic sanctuary.

My decision to do in-depth readings of a limited number of what are, for me, key texts among the series selected, rather than touch on a wide number of novels, has inevitably involved a degree of selectivity. Yet certain novels that have traditionally been considered "minor" or "flawed" hold a great deal of interest from my critical perspective and therefore take the foreground here. While I too follow a chronological approach, the act of placing gender at the centre of the focus of enquiry highlights some of the limitations of the traditional method of periodization.

The textual readings of the various novels undertaken here point to the overarching importance of gender to them all, and to a recurring pattern of novels that say one thing and then do another. Typically, in the novels studied here, the dominant discourse changes place half way through; a feminist discourse that contests the ideology of domesticity as mutilating and confining yields the helm of the narrative to a patriarchal discourse that becomes the interpretive key through which we are invited to make sense of the fiction. The late nineteenth century, as Nancy Cott reminds us, was, perhaps more than any other except our own, an "era of contention" over the nature of woman.

Even those who explicitly supported the domestic ideal showed themselves at times aware of the problems which it posed, and doubtful about its validity. Although the notion of woman as household icon was uppermost amongst the competing discourses of gender by the s, its proponents continued to fight a rearguard action against older views as well as field a set of new critiques as the century drew to a close.

One of the salient characteristics of western print culture in the nineteenth century is what Nancy Miller terms a "collective 'obsessing' about an idea called woman. The ideal of feminine domesticity was exhaustively discussed and prescribed in western Europe and the United States, reaching its height in Spain in the late nineteenth century.

Directly or indirectly, it informed a wide variety of different discourses—ladies' journals, feminine conduct manuals, the costumbrista anthologies with their vignettes of local customs, serialized novels, poetry, medical texts, pedagogical treatises, legislation, essays, and public speeches. A recent line of scholarship argues that the appearance of the angel in the house is no isolated phenomenon but the symptom of a wider process, that of the creation of a new bourgeois ideology of gender roles, which substantially revised earlier definitions of femininity and masculinity.

Feminist scholars have argued that this process was not a marginal side effect of political history but one of the definitive projects of nineteenth-century western societies. The debates over woman's nature and function that commanded such public attention and interest in the last century had profound although now long neglected political, social, and literary consequences. As Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar put it, our understanding of the period has been "skewed because critics and scholars, whether consciously or not, have massively repressed the centrality of 'the woman question' in this period.

In Spain, as elsewhere in the west, the woman question was as important as the more widely studied social question and intimately linked to it. The new discourse on woman was remarkably successful in transcending national, religious, economic, and class differences, appearing at slightly different points in the century in Victorian Britain, France, the United States, and Spain. The new mythology lent itself particularly well to transposition. A discourse that claimed to have discovered the essence of the eternal feminine regardless of race, class, and geographic location, it was characterized by nebulous highflown generalizations about woman that rarely acknowledged historical or local circumstances.

Two classic midcentury elaborations of the bourgeois feminine ideal appeared within a few years of each other in English and Spanish: Both works were runaway best-sellers; Pat-. Despite the undeniable disparities between the material position of women in British and continental societies in the mid-nineteenth century, the striking fact is that what middle-class writers in Spain had to say about their notion of woman in the abstract is frequently interchangeable with the arguments of authors from England, France, or North America.

In this respect at least, the Francoist slogan that Spain is different is not valid. Thus, in discussing this discourse, I follow Michel Foucault and others in using the term Victorian in a broad sense to refer to a bourgeois mode of thought that was international and not specific to England alone. The reliance on translations in nineteenth-century Spain ensured that new notions about women published in other western European countries were relayed relatively rapidly to those who could not read foreign languages.

One of the most pervasive changes in nineteenth-century cultural and psychic life occurred in western perceptions of social space, which underwent a division into two distinct, engendered, and sharply differentiated spheres, public and private; attitudes to the workplace and the home evolved to reflect this new dichotomy.

Until then, in Mary Nash's summary, home for all but the wealthiest was also the workplace, a site both of reproduction and production, with extensive participation by women in the latter. Women were now excluded as a class, for the first time in modern western history, from such categories as "public opinion," "the Spanish," or "citizens. The notion of home was discursively constructed as an exclusively female, private, noncommercial space in opposition to an external, male, public world of work for wages.

Though women had been exhorted to stay at home and to watch their honour in the Golden Age tradition, the injunctions stemmed from a belief in their lustful nature, as morally weaker vessels. As Aldaraca shows, Fray Luis advocated women's confinement because he feared that they would contaminate men if they moved about freely in society.

Women were seen as fundamentally sinful, and likely to dishonour their husbands if not kept under strict supervision. By the nineteenth century, however, men had come to be seen as fallen creatures, while women had become equated with superior morality. A woman was no longer described as a possession but as an equal if different being, while the family, "as an institution, [took] the place of the physical fortress, the house. Spanish domestic ideology shared with its English Evangelist cousin a belief in the home as the primary site for religious endeavour.

Woman, uncorrupted by any taint with commerce or politics, was eulogized as being closer to the divine than her more carnally inclined male counterpart. The wife's moral superiority was a favourite theme of middle-class writers. The appearance of the new feminine icon is normally attributed to the shift from an agrarian society to an industrialized one, a theory which must be qualified when applied to Spain, where the bulk of the country remained relatively underindustrialized for most of the century, but which nevertheless presents the same textual construction of woman and home as other more developed nations.

Yet full-scale industrialism was clearly not, in the case of Spain, a prerequisite for the spread of domestic ideology, since the nascent bourgeoisie's ideology of gender attained hegemonic status during this same period. The reasons for this apparent historical anomaly are obscure, since there are no studies that examine the minutiae of Spanish bourgeois private life and the effect of the new ideology on real women's behaviour in the Peninsula.

Nancy Armstrong and Catherine Hall both argue that the construction of separate, engendered public and private spheres was one of the central factors in the constitution of the middle classes in nineteenth-century England. In Armstrong's view, the bourgeoisie, in order to facilitate and legitimate its own emergence as an entity, needed to efface noble birth as the primary criterion of social worth. This goal was achieved, she argues, by transferring social attention to gender rather than social class as the primary distinguishing feature of a person; in the process, sexual difference was obsessively raised in order to create a political unconscious.

Armstrong's thesis that the engendering of domesticity was in fact central to the creation of the bourgeoisie suggests that the process might have preceded or accompanied industrialization rather than springing from it; it is therefore helpful when we consider why Spain in the s should have embraced domestic ideology so thoroughly, despite not being a full-fledged capitalist society. The country was developed enough to boast a flourishing publishing industry by the s, a decade which saw the rise of ladies' journals and serialized romantic novels, followed by the female-authored domestic novels of the s.

These textual media helped ensure that the notion of woman as spiritualized helpmate rather than morally weaker sex became enshrined in the national imagination as synonymous with. The notion of men and women as radically different was attractive to those who saw aristocratic life as tending towards a dangerous blurring of gender lines, as the fashionable court ladies became more brazen and the petimetres eighteenth-century dandies more effete and feminized, absorbed by dress and gossip.

In a period of continual political instability—there were thirty-five pronunciamientos in Spain between and —during which the bourgeois were often in danger of losing control of the democratic changes they were trying to initiate, writers of the middle classes were moved to embrace the new notions of what Lawrence Stone terms the "companionate marriage" and the loving, close-knit family; they portrayed home as synonymous with an enclave of peace and happiness distinct from the working world.

As the authors of Victorian Women remark, the obsession with surveillance and regulation characterized not only the activities of the state but entered into private life in the proliferation of advice manuals that sought to create perfect mothers and homemakers. All the emotional and moral values that were widely felt to be lacking in the public male sphere came to be projected onto the private circle of the wife and family. Home, sweet home was idealized as a sanctuary, a womblike enclosure in which no conflict existed. Whatever the realities may have been historians remain "confused.

Whereas marital relations in aristocratic circles in eighteenth-century Spain appear to have been distant and formal—and were moreover falling into disrepute as it became customary for the wives of the well-to-do in Madrid to have a cortejo male admirer and confidant [24] who accompanied her everywhere—the middle-class writers of the mid-nineteenth century began to offer their readers a very different, utopic vision of a close, loving bond between wife and husband, which nothing could profane. One of the classic texts of the new gender ideology, Ruskin's essay "Of Queen's Gardens," first published in , argued, furthermore, that only the wife could make home what it should be: Woman is by nature the angel of the home.

And alas for Humanity and alas for woman, if one day the angel should allow her slender wings to be scorched in the consuming flame of pride and abandon the secret and loving refuge she has always inhabited, to hurl herself madly into the impetuous whirlwind of public life, in the midst of which man has to fight the most violent and terrible battles. Women's special privilege and function was to create and sustain the psychic space of the home and the emotional closeness that was now being marketed as the sign of the ideal marriage and family.

Wives, according to a popular nineteenth-century Spanish marriage manual, performed a vital duty by providing daily doses of love and comfort for their mates, exposed to the pressures of incipient capitalism: Feminine domesticity was clearly an ideal which marked off the middle classes both from the aristocracy and from the working classes, although writers presented it as woman's essential nature regardless of class lines.

The constant admonitions to lead a demure and secluded existence signalled a preoccupation to differentiate the model woman from the image of the aristocratic lady who, in the eighteenth century, had begun entertaining on a lavish scale in her home and behaving with less public restraint than had traditionally been demanded of her. At the same time, wealthy women began to socialize more, giving evening entertainments, tertulias and saraos , in the home, where guests engaged in gossip, gambling, and dancing. The eighteenth-century custom of the cortejo , originally a Platonic relationship, was coming suspiciously close to adultery towards the beginning of the nineteenth century.

Around this time also, women began the practice of daily visiting and attending public entertainments such as the theatre and the opera, all of which gave the bourgeoisie an impression of licentious freedom on the part of the great ladies of Spain. The bourgeois angel was counterpoised not only to the aristocrat but to women of lower social rank, for her exclusion from all productive labour was a way of signifying her family's rise out of the working class, most of whose women were employed in agriculture, industry, or service.

This strategy was analyzed by the nineteenth-century sociologist and economist Thorstein Veblen, who argued in The Theory of the Leisure Class that a special semiotic role had recently devolved upon middle-class women. Middle-class men, who were richer than the working classes but who could not afford to stop working themselves, allotted the formerly aristocratic privilege of leisure to their women.

Thus, it was thought essential that women confine their activities to the place which had become the antithesis of the public, working world: Enlightenment revisions of biology were enlisted in the reinterpretation of gender roles. As Thomas Laqueur shows, around the end of the eighteenth century the ancient one-sex model of sexual isomorphism, in which woman is figured as an imperfect homology of man, was challenged. In a further important shift, biology became the new epistemic foundation for prescriptive claims about the social order. Female and male were figured as in-commensurably different and complementary.

The notion of separate spheres dovetailed with the separation and gendering of attributes of the human soma and psyche. The anatomical, physiological, and mental differences between the sexes, which scientists were busy cataloguing in ever more detailed ways, were adduced as proof that nature had intended separate functions and activities for men and women. En el primero obra principalmente la.

In the former, reason and conscience are the principal agents; in the latter, feelings and affections. The former is exceptionally fitted for public life, for dealing with people, for social intercourse; the latter is, by nature, the angel of the home. One popular novelist's description of woman reduced her simply to this capacity for love: Fernando de Castro, a famous Madrid university professor, followed Rousseau's Emile in seeing reproduction as the all-consuming focus of a woman's existence: Eulogies to motherhood such as the following, by Emilio Castelar, one-time academic colleague of de Castro's and president of the short-lived First Republic, now seem impossibly saccharine but were clearly deeply serious and meaningful at the time, and indeed almost de rigueur in any commentary on women's place in society:.

The increased emphasis on women's maternal instincts did not, however, correspond to a heightened emphasis on female libido. In fact, the radical departure central to the nineteenth century was the type of thinking behind Dr. Acton's celebrated pronouncement in that "the majority of women. The resulting notion of essential female passionlessness overturned the ancient western tradition which saw women as at least as highly sexed as men.

Whereas in Aristotle the male principle is the spirit and the female the body, reflecting a long association of men with friendship and women with fleshliness, in the discourse of domesticity this canon is reversed. Woman is seen as more spiritual, man more carnal. The analogy between women and angels rested on the belief in the sexlessness, and therefore virtue, perceived as common to both.

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Purity, defined as lack or control of sexual passion, was the prime quality of the angel of the house. The middle-class angel wife was supposed to love her husband with a mild, unselfish, maternal friendship unsullied by sexual passion; female sexuality was relegated to the lower classes or, if it presented itself in the bourgeoise, pathologized. Her condition as wife and mother, her personal dignity, the dictates of respectability should never abandon her. A particular kind of language evolved to describe domesticity, a style of thought and speech characterized by exalted religious rhetoric and euphemism.

Women's enclosure, in Fraser Harrison's view, "was ensured by investing it with all the majesty of a divine appointment. Home in this discourse became a "temple" or "sanctuary," and woman its guardian angel, vestal virgin, or priestess. Its aim was the inculcation of new emotional attitudes to women's tripartite role in the family, indicated by the adjectives in its rubric: Woman's mission was now understood as more than the supervision of the household and bearing of children and maintenance of conjugal fidelity.

The many treatises on the subject stressed the psychological and spiritual dimensions of the wife and paid remarkably little attention to practical, material instructions. The angel was envisaged as a paragon of altruism and abnegation and was always defined in relation to members of the family. Mother, wife, and daughter, woman is always our guardian angel. Woman's selfless investment of her desires in the family was supposed to counteract the ruling principle of bourgeois society: As Barbara Taylor points out, women became the repositories of the moral conscience of the bourgeoisie, for, "having confined all those virtues inappropriate within the stockmarket or the boardroom to the hearts of their womenfolk, middleclass men were then left free to indulge in all those unfortunate vices necessary for bourgeois enterprise.

Sweet submission was another of the angel's important characteristics: For this novelist, woman's destiny, whatever her station, was that of martyr: Part of the puritanical aspect of domestic ideology, which shows its humble social origins, was the emphasis placed on work and frugality. Thrift, understated elegance, and simplicity were constantly prescribed in the conduct manuals, in opposition to the vice of el lujo , the gaudy display of luxury, a bugbear of Spanish writers throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

As the home became less and less the physical fortress it had been for upper-class women in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the stress on developing the necessary inner fortitude to resist the temptation to sin grew correspondingly insistent. A commonplace in the conduct manuals was the theme that virtue lay in constant activity, which was, of course, no recent invention. The angel of the nineteenth century was constantly employed in supervising household tasks, not so much because she had to set an example to the servants, as Aldaraca argues is the case for the perfect wife of the Counter-Reformation, [47] but because she truly loved her role.

She rose early, in opposition to the aristocratic habit of sleeping late. She was expected to be clean, frugal, hardworking, cheerful, and contented: These now symbolized the private, nonprofessional, domestic role that middle-class women were called upon to fulfil. In the process he disembodied her entirely:. Es menos visible y luminosa, pero no menos grande. Es el domi mansit, lanam fecit guarda la casa, hila la lana de los romanos. She is less visible and luminous, but no less great. She is the domi mansit, lanam fecit she who keeps house and spins wool of the Romans.

She is simply a woman, in the most beautiful meaning of the word. Pure, modest, and serene like the lamp in her oratory, she is humble and resigned and takes life as Providence dictates. As the preceding commentary shows, the power for good exercised by the angel was supposed to work in silent, oblique, invisible ways. The angel was passive, obedient, humble, silent, and submissive, never rebellious or strident.

The sentimentalized rhetoric of the time frequently compared her to nonhuman essences—typically to light or scent, a sunbeam, a rainbow, or the perfume of a flower. This idealization of female invisibility was reflected in the custom of the middle-class. The injunction to women to be asexual angels in the house, magically redeeming corrupt society through their purity and abnegation, coincided with the midcentury wave of Catholic evangelism and the increased power granted to the Spanish church by the papal concordat of and reinforced by the Restoration of The ideology of separate spheres also drew on and perhaps contributed to a resurgence of the Marian cult, for it enlisted the Virgin Mary in the service of the new gender ideology.

As Mary Perry observes, representations of the Virgin had evolved historically to meet social constructions of ideal femininity and had been moving in the direction of purity, innocence, and nonphysicality for some time. The belief in woman's special role as redeemer of society also enjoyed growing popularity, to the extent that, in , Pope Leo XIII finally brought official dogma into line with devotional belief by announcing Mary Co-Redemptrix of humanity, Jesus' collaborator in the salvation of the human race.

The reasons for this promotion were rooted in the feminine virtues peculiar to the period: Mary's obedient acquiescence to divine purpose in the use of her body to carry the male saviour, and her miraculous virginity. During the revolutionary period, a Spanish essayist enumerated the qualities which women should emulate in Mary: The rapid rise to dominance of the angelic ideal stemmed in part from its adaptability to a wide range of political agendas, for women.

It was also attractive to antidemocratic writers, who represented feminine purity and piety as bastions against a rising tide of immorality in the masculine public sphere. The following description, from an anthology of articles published during the revolutionary period, illustrates the way in which the angel woman could be enlisted to serve the interests of the forces of reaction:.

La primera influencia que la mujer murciana ejerce sobre su marido, es la influencia religiosa. In this time of gross irreligiosity there are unfortunately few young people free from the infection of impiety with which certain hateful liberties have poisoned the educational system and public mores; but the woman of Murcia, piously brought up by her mother in the sacred and eternal principles of the true religion, holds back in this whole region of Spain the destruction which an atheistic education and atheistic books and an atheistic press have wrought in the fragile intelligence of the youth of today, who go to the universities or spend their lives in the casinos.

The primary area of influence that the Murcian woman has over her husband is religious. As the century drew on, belief in the timeless and preordained differences between individuals of different classes, races, and sexes hardened into dogma, reinforced by science, in response to the gathering restiveness among women, the working classes, and the colonies.

Many writers invoked the angel as a counter to the threat of socialism and feminism. Proponents of the ideology of domesticity consciously counterpoised the image of the angel in virtuous opposition to the emancipated female. These early demands disappeared in the s as the vision of woman posited by domestic ideology came to dominate mainstream thought.

Even though no official feminist organizations existed in nineteenth-century Spain, as they did in North America and Europe, we nevertheless find that in the s male and female writers alike began to present feminism as a pressing social threat. She symbolized a life-style which they believed was the only natural source of contentment for their readers. The ideologues of domesticity succeeded in displacing all the traditional Christian virtues of chastity, humility, abnegation, obedience, patience, love, and piety onto the figure of the domestic woman, who fulfilled her natural instincts and desires in the home and for the family.

These qualities were presented as woman's "nature," but there was nevertheless a tacit recognition of the importance of nurture in the concurrent stress on good upbringing and the perusal of the conduct manuals. The bourgeois feminine ideal was so successful in permeating the national psyche that it came to seem the only natural and univer-.

Ocupaba esta mujer las horas en labores manuales, reposando, calcetando, aplanchando, bordando al bastidor o haciendo dulce de conserva. This woman spent her time in fine handiwork, resting, doing crochet, ironing, embroidering her frame, or making jams. While she attacked this model of femininity as a "mujer emparedada" walled-up woman , Pardo simultaneously evinced a certain nostalgia for what she referred to variously as the embodiment of "genuine," castiza truly Spanish female virtue, which, intriguingly, she portrayed as something lost, belonging to the past, which modern society would do well to recuperate.

Women writers occupied a contested and intriguing role in relation to the domestic ideal. Since nineteenth-century theories of artistic creation envisioned it as a function of the male libido, there was logically no possibility of the asexual angel woman being an artist. This exclusion was reinforced by the typecasting of women as helpmates.

The "proper lady," Mary Poovey tells us, merely aided masculine processes of creation either by serving as a source of inspiration to a man or by helping and nurturing the creator. As Virginia Woolf complained, the angel in the house was not supposed to be a writer. Despite the prohibition on intellectual activity, women wrote more during the nineteenth century than in any preceding one. For the generation of women writers who came of age or were beginning their careers during the s, paying tribute to domestic womanhood became the avowed reason for publishing.

The explicit message they directed to their female readers was the necessity of being submissive and subservient domestic angels, totally identified with home and family, although the ironic fact that the authors were themselves highly visible professional women and entrepreneurs cannot have escaped their readers. Alda Blanco shows how the female proponents of domesticity used their works to argue that education and literacy were essential to the training of young girls as domestic angels and would not, as had always been inferred, lead to sexual misconduct: Seemingly constructing an image of womanhood which neatly and unproblematically fit the needs of a bourgeois society—the passive sacrificial woman—they also inscribe within it an oppositional element.

Recent studies of the Spanish periodical press in the nineteenth century show a rapid expansion of the number of feminine periodicals in the second half of the century. Alicia Andreu states that these women published novels, poetry, drama, essays, and conduct manuals which were enormously popular and were awarded prestigious literary prizes. In and she also directed Flores y Perlas , which described itself as a "literary, recreational, and moral journal dedicated to the fair sex. She was editor of La Violeta from —, La Mujer in.

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Angela Grassi — was well known as a romantic poet at a very early age. In the s she added to her reputation by becoming a successful novelist and conduct manual writer. She became the director of the women's magazine El Correo de la Moda in , a post she held until her death in Patrocinio de Biedma —? These female promoters of the angel image in Spain did not publish in women's magazines alone. They also wrote about women's role for political and literary journals aimed at a primarily masculine.

The angel in the house, constructed entirely in opposition to man, embodied even for nineteenth-century observers a series of aporia. As we have seen, she was both an absence—invisible, silent—and a ubiquitous spiritual presence. A tension between woman's ascribed power and powerlessness is variously inscribed in bourgeois domestic ideology. Reverence for the angel was stimulated by comparison to figures of authority, both social and spiritual, including the priestess, saint, Madonna, and queen.

A commonplace of domestic ideology was that, as angelic mother, and wife, woman was entitled to wield power, provided she did so only in the private sphere: An old strain of misogyny seems to have coexisted quite comfortably with lip service to the new chivalric attitude to women, to judge by the popularity in Spain of Balzac's dictum that "woman is a slave that one has to know how to put on a throne. The "daughter, wife, and mother" formula for the angel neatly expressed this other side of the ideal: For one English writer, maids epitomized the feminine destiny, for they "are attached to others and are connected with other existences, which they embellish, facilitate, and serve.

In a word, they fulfil both essentials of a woman's being: The attempt to dissociate women from material power emerges in the rhetoric of the time. While it was frequently claimed that bourgeois Christian society had improved women's lot, there were concerted attempts to redefine as "influence" the domestic power attributed to them as angels of the house. Influence was covert power, which was supposed to act discreetly, obliquely; that is, its status as power was ambiguous. The angel could suggest or contrive but never demand. Fernando de Castro told his female listeners in a famous lecture in that "vuestro destino es influir, de ninguna manera imperar" your destiny is to influence, by no means to command.


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  • As the new conception of women's different nature came to be the norm, it was extrapolated to determine her social function, which was then prescriptively inscribed into the legal practices of the nineteenth century. The chivalrous rhetoric about the angel's moral superiority and queenly power found in the nineteenth-century texts we have been discussing did not lead to progressive improvement in women's legal rights; in fact, the liberal legislation of the nineteenth century, where it did not limit itself to restating women's traditional legal subordination to men, actually eroded what few rights women had over property and codified the new double standard of morality, a process which culminated in the Restoration Civil Code of , modelled on the Napoleonic Code's postrevolutionary retrenchment on women's rights.

    Wives who disobeyed their husbands could receive civil reprimands Penal Code of ,. Women's invisibility in the public sphere was made concrete by laws which abrogated married women's rights to own and dispose of property Civil Code Draft Proposal of , and Civil Code of , to engage in business, or to discharge official functions. They could prosecute for rape only if great violence had accompanied the act Penal Code of , arts.

    In adultery became for the first time a civil offence as opposed to a domestic one punished by the husband , punishable by a jail sentence. However, the new legal definition considered only women capable of committing adultery Penal Code, art. The fact that women were increasingly subordinated and not glorified in legal discourse is balanced by the growing misogyny of scientific discourse over the century, which drew parallels between women and children and also between women and the so-called savage races. Anatomists believed that women's skeletons were more childlike than men's. Phrenologists and craniologists stressed women's lesser intelligence by measuring their smaller brains.

    In the wake of Darwin's theory of evolution, women came to be seen as the more primitive examples of the species. In the words of a contributor to the Anthropological Review in , women shared the prognathous jaw—"the most palpable mark of an inferior organisation"—with "the lowest races of man. Scientific discourse of the late nineteenth century is marked by a struggle between the models of incommensurable sexual difference and veneration of the female seen in bourgeois ideology and the older one of patriarchal hierarchy woman as an inferior copy of man.

    While overtly stressing the polar oppositions between male and female organisms, scientists frequently lapsed into the language of hierarchy: The highest examples of physical, mental, and moral excellence are found in man. The contradictory nature of the new feminine ideal is highlighted by the very metaphor it borrowed from religious iconography: The distinguishing sign of the angel in visual representation is the possession of wings like a bird's, denoting the power to fly. Although in theory angels had neither body nor sex, Christian artists from the fourth century on began to represent.

    They were associated with upward spiritual movement—redemption and resurrection—and with victory, for they were typically portrayed flanking God on high or escorting souls heavenwards. In traditional western iconography, the angel's wings signified spirituality, participation in the divine, speed, power, and dazzling mobility. They had ultimate powers to transcend distance and material boundaries. However, when the gender of the angel was displaced by the bourgeois discourse of the nineteenth century onto woman, a central change took place.

    The new feminine angel was not mobile or martial but was imaginatively immobilized in the bourgeois home. Her virtue did not enable her to transcend boundaries but instead found its definition in her observance of them. In fact, she was constituted precisely by her joyful acceptance of enclosure. Florence Nightingale's essay Cassandra , in which the author bitterly denounces the cult of domesticity, envisages contemporary Victorian womanhood as being "like the Archangel Michael as he stands upon Saint Angelo at Rome.

    She has an immense provision of wings, which seem as if they would bear her over earth and heaven; but when she tries to use them, she is petrified into stone, her feet are grown into the earth, chained to the bronze pedestal. Even though women were now credited with spiritual powers, confinement, rather than free flight, remained the central paradigm of middle-class female experience in the nineteenth century. It was an image frequently used by both of Spain's most noted feminists in the late nineteenth century. She contrasted the traditional mobile. And indeed this fact created a curious paradox.

    The boundaries of the middle-and upper-class home became more porous than ever before for Spanish women during the last thirty years of the century, as entertaining, shopping, theatre-going, promenading, riding in open carriages, and home visiting became increasingly the norm in high society, even though during those same years domesticity and invisibility were glorified as never before. Yet by this point, the notion of decorum had been naturalized. Any deviation from feminine modesty would now be an aberration from nature, not just from duty.

    One manifestation of the curious contradictions inscribed on the feminine during this period lies in the clothing worn by middle-class women in the mid-nineteenth century, which, instead of evolving towards a more comfortable style in line with women's apparent new freedoms, became rather, according to Kathryn Weibel, "the most garish and least comfortable in recent history. Female fashions shed the simplicity of the turn-of-the-century Napoleonic styles, as the corsets and crinolines of the s and s and the narrow skirts, bustles, and trains of the s and s turned the middle-class woman into the "bell-shaped angel" discussed by Duncan Crow, an angel whose dress expressed the paradigm of demure restraint in an inescapably palpable way.

    Oliphant in her book Dress ca. Yet, despite the cramping restrictions that must have attended the real lives of nineteenth-century women, the angel in the house is paradoxically a happy prisoner. Contentment with one's lot in life is one of the conduct manuals' particular themes: Her job is to keep people happy, comfortable, and entertained by always seeming to be so herself. Promoters of the cult of domesticity never posed the problem of a woman dissatisfied or discontented with her role in the home, except as an example of "unnatural" or "unwomanly" behaviour.

    The contradictions of Victorian gender ideology can be seen also in the notions of class on which it rested, for although its promoters adopted a language which posited woman and the eternal feminine as a universal, timeless, classless entity, they attributed the fundamental quality of the angel, namely her asexual purity, only to the middle class. Prostitution of women of the lower classes was considered a necessary evil, because it ensured the continued purity of well-to-do women, who might otherwise become the targets of male lust.

    The pure middle-class angel depends on her sullied lower class counterpart, who was simultaneously used and abused. Fraser Harrison, discussing the contradictions in nineteenth-century sexual mores, writes that "the class from whom prostitutes were recruited was credited by the class that kept them in business with a fundamentally sinful nature. By the same token, the exploiting class be-.

    The 'better classes' preserved intact their privilege of simultaneously purchasing wholesale sex from the lower classes and condemning them for their promiscuity. The high-flown and sentimental language used to construct the ideal of the angel in the house created a figure who was supposedly powerful yet materially powerless; imaginatively invested with wings yet imprisoned; supposedly busy yet enforcedly idle; supposedly sexless yet at the same time devoted wife and mother; always content even though a prisoner; supposedly frugal yet in reality expected to purchase and display finery; at once the accessory to male creation and intellect and yet herself the author of a reformed society.

    The nineteenth-century construction of femininity was thoroughly and fundamentally contradictory. The discourse of woman as angel reveals so many contradictions in part because of the hidden agendas of the people who subscribed to it. While male writers, reacting to the spectre of feminism unleashed by the French Revolution, used it to justify women's exclusion from public life, women writers used it to stress women's different nature and special provinces of authority.

    Ellis wrote, "women's politics must be the politics of morality"; they were specially equipped to confront issues "such as extinction of slavery, the abolition of war in general, cruelty to animals, the punishment of death, temperance, and many more. Thus, the final paradox associated with the ideal of the angel is an historical one: The contradictions inherent in the ideal of the angel in the house allowed women to question and deconstruct that ideal.

    In the s certain middle-class women began to exercise the supposedly angelic feminine qualities of love, emotional understanding, moral purity, and humanitarian service in a wider sphere than the home by undertaking philanthropical work in charitable organizations and antislavery leagues or by becoming teachers, writers, social reformers, and, by the turn of the century, gynaecologists and pediatricians. He used the realist novel to explore, among other contradictions, the tension between the conflicting imperatives that constituted the bourgeoisie's ideal of womanhood.

    Indeed, such evidence as we have about the writer's conscious ideological orientation points in a very different direction. He published articles and novels in two women's magazines which were specifically devoted to promoting the cult of the angel wife-mother: It has become fashionable recently to talk of what is called women's emancipation, as if man had ever ceased to be your slave. As its title suggests, it idealized maternity and the notion of separate spheres.

    Intellectually, it was a relatively progressive journal but was nevertheless careful to present a social agenda that was moderate to conservative. Such absurd claims could not have been further from my mind! Subscribing to the notion that women's reproductive function barred them from intellectual work, the author asserted that "no produce la mujer ideas. Debiera tenerse siempre presente la frase de Michelet: One should always bear in mind Michelet's phrase: Finally, in case there should be any doubt about his position, Serrano stigmatized feminists as promiscuous: If she must be educated, she must know her condition.

    It is the so-called social question which figures more prominently on his personal horizon, the fragility of bourgeois order in the face of the growth of working class militancy; he states in that he feels society to be on the edge of a volcano. He gives the impression of inhabiting an all-male world, rarely mentioning feminine figures. These massive omissions are themselves significant, in light of the ferment of discussion going on at the time. Entitled "La rosa y la camelia," it is an allegory of two types of woman: He reworks a motif common to nineteenth-century bourgeois writers in his attack on the women of the upper class as living a life of lax morals and frenetic sociability; he bends history to his argument by suggesting that society women who took lovers were the artificial and unhealthy innovation of the nineteenth century.

    The rose, in contrast, is healthy, warm, open to the approach of its natural partner in reproduction, the bee, and maternally prolific:. Sencilla, pero siempre bella, nace y abre al sol su corazon y permite a la abela penetrar en su seno. No hay duda de que la rosa es la flor mas bella de la creacion. Simple, but always beautiful, she is born and opens her heart to the sun and allows the bee to penetrate into her bosom.

    The rose is without a doubt the most beautiful flower in creation. In contrast, the camellia, which the narrator terms "the aristocratic flower," and "the prostituted flower, the shameless flower; the flower without a family" —3 is overeroticized, dangerously beautiful, languid, consumptive: He taxes the society flower with pride, arrogance, and habits of self-display.

    The contest between the merits of the two flowers that the narrator invites us to witness is a transparent opportunity for him to glorify the virtues of mothers of modest households and to revile their vitiated antitheses, associated with the mores of high society. The rose has thorns to protect her virtue, while the camellia, who lacks such protection and was raised in a hothouse, is easily picked by anyone. The camellia, as an artificial creation, is sterile: Crucially, the camellia, for all its superior beauty, has no perfume, whereas the rose has the sweet odour of sanctity: He describes the heroine:.

    Llevado este tipo al teatro por un esplotador de la grosera realidad, puede set muy pernicioso a la joven de su sexo. This type, which has been brought to the stage by a writer who exploits the ugliness of reality, could be very harmful to young women. A Woman's Torture is anti-family. It appears that the famous French journalist enjoys attacking the holiest of institutions. By prostituting the mother and wife, Girardin has destroyed the family through her and the noblest attributes of woman herself.

    This early insistence that representations of. He characterizes the women's movement as an absurdity thankfully absent from Spain: It is true that recently a deformed growth has appeared, an aberration called the socialist woman. The narrative conjures up a dry scientist, poring night and day over his books and causing his wife to endure the "terrible privation" of childlessness Constitutionally incapable, like all her sex, of dealing constructively with boredom 43 , the neglected wife is faced with only two choices: She opts for the latter.

    On her husband's death, however, her unctuous professions of religiosity fade. She remarries and proceeds to bear a child every. Efectivamente, parece natural que la frivolidad femenina se encuentre fuera de su centro en reuniones de tal especie. Our readers will be surprised to learn that the fair sex was admitted to a political meeting, against the laws of custom, which have always elected woman from any place designed for dealing with serious matters.

    Indeed, it seems natural that feminine frivolity would be out of place in such meetings. Women are life's delight; they stimulate great and small ambitions; they are the source and fountainhead from whence all virtues flow. The most glorious triumphs of good are women's work; private miseries and public catastrophes are our fault.

    It is their ineluctable destiny to love man; and he should devote to them all his intelligence and his whole heart; a sovereign cult from which we should only excuse those women who, deformed by false pietism, become shrewish, dried up, and disagreeable. Significantly, he used women to illustrate his point: The day will come when young ladies with diplomas will be sculpting busts of their papas and composing the polkas they will dance with their beaux. By the s he favoured broadening women's education, and began to seem troubled by his realization that there was a sexual double standard of morality; [15] yet he opposed feminist demands for equal education and conceded the need for wider opportunities for paid employment for women only as a lesser evil than prostitution.

    His praise for the notoriously progressive School for Governesses is double-edged: It contains copies of key works by some of the most influential proponents of the domestic ideal: Most telling is his possession of an edition of The Select Works of Mrs. Ellis — was one of the mostly widely read writers of feminine conduct literature in the English-speaking world.

    She produced the famous series Women of England , Daughters of England , Wives of England , and Mothers of England , in which she defined the angelic ideal to middle-class women readers. The more conventional works on femininity far outnumber the emancipationist ones: In its way this is as much a political manoeuvre as his friend Leopoldo Alas's subsequent vituperative attack on women writers.

    The work of most of the women who write well suffers from the intellectual conditions and the modesty peculiar to their sex. It is the class which administers, which teaches, which debates,. At the same time that the essay confidently proclaims the bourgeoisie as monolithic, however, it betrays moments of uncertainty. The domestic life of the middle class is a constant source of concern: Female infidelity is a major social evil, threatening to dissolve the structure of the bourgeois family: To lend form to all these things must be the chief aspiration of contemporary literature [].

    He represents the novelist as both neutral observer and mirror, impartially reproducing the chaos of life through the transparent medium of language: As Terry Eagleton points out, "the ideology of the text is not an 'expression' of authorial ideology. Terry Lovell contends that as the bourgeoisie came to terms politically and socially with the older landed sections of society, the novel, in order to establish itself as literature, began to distance itself from capitalism and to undertake a critique of bourgeois values.

    Nor, despite the narrower range and more explicitly political focus of his early novels, can we consider them to be as monolithically univocal as has been supposed. Making gender the central category of analysis reveals uncharted levels of complexity in the deceptively simple thesis novels and highlights the fact that literary texts are always ineluctably complicit in the production and reproduction of multiple ideologies, often in ways unintended by the author. Yet the way in which the texts invite this allegorical feminization of Spain itself begs for a further reading, one which calls attention to their relation to the system of sex and gender character-.

    Focusing on this occluded ideological level in the texts allows us to perceive the diverse and polyphonic nature of these early narratives. In an emblematic moment of anagnorisis, we learn that questions of class and gender have been the prime movers of a social drama ostensibly centered on religious behaviour. These novels follow what Nancy Miller terms a "dysphoric" rather than "euphoric" plot structure.

    The texts' construction of their religio-political allegories is successful thanks to the mobilization of a whole set of assumed values and conventions of gender. If heroines such as Rosario and Clara act as allegories of liberal "Spain in captivity," as Stephen Gilman suggests, they are successful in arousing the readers' indignation because their conventionally feminine innocence and purity make them blameless victims.

    They are presented as being more easily destroyed, more vulnerable in their physical and mental integrity, than their male counterparts. Through love, unwittingly they become entangled in politics, about which they remain ignorant until the end. Their role is to suffer and wait, confined within the household, while the hero, outside, struggles with their adversaries and agitates for their release. The feminine antithesis of the impressionable, docile heroines of the early novels is the type of perverted womanhood represented by.

    Wooed by the impetuous liberal Pepe Rey, the angelic Rosario is a hapless pawn imprisoned by her evil mother in a struggle between the forces of reaction and progress.