What is the Flush’s purpose in life?
Flush’s purpose in life seems to have been significantly reduced. He was always subordinate, even with Miss Mitford, but now with EBB, this subservience has been intensified to a point where he no longer feels fulfilled. This shows that Flush’s perspective is very similar in a way to that of Victorian women, who were expected to marry and mainly stay at home rather than working for themselves and experiencing the world in the same way that men do.
Flush’s subservience also links to Squires argument that his marginal position represents EBB’s marginal position, in the sense that as an invalid, upper-class, Victorian woman, she is a prisoner to Wimpole street at the center of patriarchal society. This further indicates that Flush does operate as a stand-in for the woman writer.
However, this all changes after they move to Italy with Mr Browning. This is because the move allows EBB, the Victorian woman, to be free again.
“So Mrs Browning every day, as she tossed off her Chianti and broke another orange from the branch, praised Italy and lamented poor, dull, damp, sunless, joyless, expensive, conventional England.”