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Gender and Money Limitations for Women in the Victorian City If money is the ascribing of value to valueless matter the basis of its power for evil over man is his forgetting of this fact Our Mutual Friend is about a whole society which has forgotten Instead of seeing that man has made money of dust and is the source of its value this society takes money as the ultimate value-in-itself the measure and source of all other value As one of the Voices of Society says A man may do anything lawful for money But for no money Bosh The novel is a brilliant revelation of the results of this false worship of money J Hillis Miller Our Mutual Friend How fair is this statement made by J Hillis Miller concerning Dickens Our Mutual Friend Miller suggests that the novel is singularly a testimony about the corruptive powers of money The individual argues Miller becomes objectified by his or her financial value and distinction and that distinction replaces the true identity of the individual I agree that this notion is demonstrated in the text and I also agree that the characters often times only regard one another based upon their financial value For this reason characters do lose a sense of their true individuality as money becomes a determining factor of their status in society But is there another factor besides money which also contributes to the formation of these fake identities Yes and Miller fails to take this into account Money is not the only signifier of status and character in the novel gender also determines roles and place in society for the individual and prevents certain characters from the freedom of their true identities We see both men and women in the novel wrestling with money and greed but we also see women caught in a society that places severe role restrictions upon them I would like to
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