Steeling the Show : A Comparative Analysis Between Victorian and Neo- Victorian Heroines From a Feminist Perspective in Terms of Gender Equality

University essay from Högskolan i Jönköping


In this essay, the concept of gender equality is explored in terms of progressive heroines in neo-Victorian literature. In order to elucidate in what way a progression has been made, the comparative analysis is predicated upon second wave feminism. A description of the Victorian heroine is made in order to decide if the neo-Victorian heroine has progressed in relation to gender equality. Jane Eyre is explored extensively in order to expand on how a strong heroine can be defined.

Elizabeth Steele will represent the neo-Victorian heroine from the novel Blood in the Skies (2011). Her characteristics are defined as being more in likeness with male features, and this would imply that neo-Victorian authors aim at reinventing the Victorian literature in order to adhere to the second wave feminist equality and ”sameness” ideal. The Steampunk/neo-Victorian work Blood in the Skies features a heroine who is portrayed as a strong and independent woman corresponding to the feminist definition of progression in terms of gender equality, in contrast to the typical female protagonist found in Victorian fiction.

The results show that Elizabeth can be defined as a strong and independent woman, which corresponds with the feminist definition of gender equality. Heroines in neo- Victorian literature seem to have the same opportunities as men have, and this is shown by the freedom of choice exerted by Elizabeth in the novel.

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