The treatment of Women in the Society during the 18th Century

Women in Society Women are an integral part in every society and the manner through which they are treated and presented goes to great lengths in expressing the rubrics of the particular society. Women are related to very many societal norms both in the contemporary society and in the previous centuries. In the 18th century, various works of art produced portrayed women in diverging aspects.
One of these was the novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses. This was a novel published by renowned novelist Choderlos de Laclos. In the novel, women are portrayed as a product of adultery in society. This is from the manner in which a married woman by the name Madame de Tourvel, consistently cheats on his husband with one Vicomte de Valmont. The two have a relationship that is kept in secrecy from the fear of Madame’s husband knowing of their actions. The adultery described goes to great lengths as to the two making love on numerous occasions even in Madame’s matrimonial home (Laclos 57).
Individually, the description of women is also as that of beings that could not apply self-control. This notion arises from the fact that despite the amount of love that Madame had for her husband, the manipulative moves made by Vicomte eventually weigh her down and she ends up cheating on her husband. Another point is where young Cecile de Volanges gets corrupted by Marquise de Merteuil. She does not bear the inner power to refuse the offers made to her and she eventually falls into temptations.
Another novel to focus on is Fanny Hill published in the year 1748. The most outstanding perception of women in the novel is that of tools of sex. This negative perception is portrayed from the high amounts of prostitution present in London. The major character in the story, Funny Hill, goes through a lot being a new girl in the big city of London. She is taken to a brothel where she gets to meet other girls who have already admitted to the lifestyle of prostitution from the high amounts of sex that they have with customers (Cleland 123). Individually, the perception of women is that of beings that lack self-respect. This is from the fact that those expressed in the erotic novel have vigorous sex with any financially stable person for a price. This extends to a great deal even to a point where there is lesbian sex going on in the brothel.
The Nun is another novel to review in focusing on the societal view of women. In this novel, the outstanding theme and concept is that of religion and the description of the manner in which parents force the female gender at a young age to carry out various activities characterized as societal norms. In the novel, the story depicted is that of a woman forced to enter a convent in an early age so that she could carry out various holy duties (Diderot 72). This novel portrays women as a weak sex that carries out duties upon order and does not have the ability to make individual decisions. Further revelation in the text is at the point where the nun does various sexual favors at the convent among other unethical behaviors.
The novels show the treatment of women in the 18th century and the various traits that they portrayed. It is important to understand the past position of women in society in an effort to provide a better future for them in terms of equality. With this, there is the assurance of greater development in society.
Work Cited
Cleland, John. Fanny Hill. New York: McGraw Hill Publishers. 2010. Print.
Diderot, Dennis. The Nun. London: Oxford University Press. 2007. Print.
Laclos, Choderlos. Les Liaisons Dangereuses. New York: Cengage Learning. 2008. Print.