How has moving to Italy influenced Elizabeth Barret Browning?
Moving to Italy essentially allows EBB to escape the patriarchal ideals of Victorian society in England. She may have lost the comfort she had before, but now she has a life for herself, and no longer is it dictated by the people around her. Consequently, she feels enriched and in control of her experiences. This shows that EBB is a changed person in Italy, and her ideals and view of the world have likely changed to. “He felt younger, spryer than he had done these many years. Dazzled, yet exhilarated, he sank on the reddish tiles and slept more soundly than he had ever slept in the back bedroom at Wimpole Street upon pillows.”
Away from the confines of EBB’s bedroom on Wimpole Street, Flush is allowed to embrace the very qualities that make him a dog. He can chase things; he can roam freely, he can be wild again. While he too has lost the comfort and tranquility of upper-class England, he now has something far better, independence. Human accompaniment and leashes are no longer needed, and so, like EBB, Flush is in control of his own experiences. This strongly suggests that Flush does operate as a stand-in for the woman writer, as moving to Italy allowed both Flush and EBB to escape the constrained life of Wimpole Street. In addition to this, moving allows Flush to escape the patriarchy of dogs, which is so important in England.