Punch, 29 (1892):79
verard Hopkins' (1860-1928) drawing, Aweary!Aweary is a commentary upon women's inability to undertake serious education. During the mid-nineteenth century the debate over women's education became an integral part to the suffragette movement. Many questioned whether women could emotionally and physically handle the rigors of education. There were also concerns that women's education would increase their masculinity and make them less attractive for marriage. Women succeeded later in the century when the University of London accepted them as full-time students in 1878. Cambridge followed three years later.
Aweary! Aweary! draws a distinct delineation between the conception of the educated woman and the model woman. Miss. Certainage, an older woman well versed in Schopenhauer leans forward with a desolate expression on her face. It is obvious that her knowledge places her mind and body in distress. Her physical development appears stunted. Certainage's head is much larger than her small withered body. She looks especially beleaguered when compared to her niece. The younger woman, who serves the man tea, is the ideal Victorian female. She is domesticated and her mind does not appear to cluttered with thoughts of impending doom. From the dialogue below, apparently the niece has more common sense than her educated aunt. The young woman is also physically much healthier. Her appearance proves that the proper place for woman in the late Victorian era was still perceived to be the home.
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[Victorian initial "E" by Harlan Wallach ©copyright 1994.]