DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH, SATYAWATI COLLEGE
UNIVERSITY OF DELHI
The paper seeks to explore the consequence of sexual abstinence on Victorian women as encouraged by religion and society in the context of Villete by Charlotte Bronte and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte. The Bronte sisters depict how religion and society fostered double standards of sexual morality in men and women. The paper concludes by establishing that ‘passionlessness’ as encouraged by religion and society in women had dual consequences: on the one hand it helped in the social mobility of women and provided them with strength and freedom in the face of utterly dismal circumstances, while on the other it led to the suppression of female sexuality.
Keywords: abstinence, morality, passion, religion, sexuality, society, women.