Aurora Leigh

In the poem of Aurora Leigh romanticism plays a huge part but I think it is different from what we expected. Whenever we previously read of romanticism the main play on the themes were optimism but also fear of going somewhere in life but being unsure of where you are going. With Aurora Leigh I see more of the life lead with pure knowledge of the next step. Because although he mother and father died she has this idea of how she can continue with herself. It is written closely to nature and exemplifies that in certain aspects but I think it changes throughout the whole poem. She is very picturesque of it all for the most part.

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One thought on “Aurora Leigh

  1. I agree with you that there is a picturesque feel to the whole poem, but I think that Barrett Browning was using the picturesque to show the Victorians how unrealistic their ideals were. “We sew, sew, prick our fingers, dull our sight, producing what? A pair of slippers, sir, to put on when you’re weary…” (457-459). Here I think she is showing her aunt’s ideal of what a woman should do and be: someone who produces, but is gentle and entirely submissive without any real knowledge of the world. Barrett Browning uses the caged-bird imagery again when she writes, “I kept the life thrust on me, on the outside of the inner life with all its ample room for heart and lungs, for will and intellect, inviolable by conventions.” (477-480). Here she is writing that women feel trapped and judged by the ideals that the Victorian era placed upon them and that only her inner thoughts were truly free from those ideals. It’s almost like she is trying to give an excuse for knowing the next step she wants to take (as you said).

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