The issue of unhappy marriages has been a heated issue in fiction. One of the examples is of Anne Bronte’s novel The Tenant of Wildfel Hall which recounts the story of Helen’s ‘abusive’ marriage that resulted in ‘subversion of domestic ideal’ (Diederich, 2003, p.25). Bronte’s ‘feminist novel’ is similar to Hall’s book as Bronte also ‘critiques the domestic ideology that subordinated women’ (Diederich, 2003, p.25).
The difficulties that a nineteenth-centuary woman in Britain had to face, as is reflected in Bronte’s novel, were similar to those faced by twentieth century American women. Hall’s difficulties were aggravated by the financial devastation which maddens her as when she is at hospital she is worried ‘who was going to pay the hospital bills?’ (Hall, 1984, p.174).
The book is an account of a struggling woman whose life was spent in making his living after getting divorce from her husband. But the question of independence is tarnished as she got a divorce from Duke, her husband, but she continued to visit him and other men. She fights like an Amazon through thick and thins of life and eventually reaches a place where ‘people were dying’ (Hall, 1984, p.161). Hall’s concept of independence is criticized by many critics who criticize her life style that goes, according to the critics, against her ideals of individuality. The price to be paid for independence is her ‘dignity’ which she guarded in the beginning (Hall, 1984, p.67).
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