The Angel in the House and Fallen Women: Assigning Women their Places in Victorian Society, Sarah Kuhl
This article juxtaposes Coventry Patmore’s poem ‘The Angel in the House’ and William Holman Hunt’s painting ‘The Awakening Conscience’, examining how they contributed to and illustrate the labelling of women
in 19th century society as a means of regaining control over them in a changing society. The meaning of the terms Angel in the House and Fallen Woman will be analysed within their historical context, arguing that
women in both categories had perhaps more in common than one would assume. I will conclude that neither the idea of the domestic angel, nor that of the ostracised fallen women could have existed in such an extreme form without their respective counterpart and that only the emergence of a third category, namely the New Woman, allowed women to slowly gain their independence.