Our overall takeaway from this book was that while it was controversial and provocative in the 1890s, it no longer is. What was shocking in Victorian society does not hold shock value today. Reading it from a 21st century perspective, it did not hold much interest. Women in our society are extremely liberated compared to women in the 1890s. Standing up to one's husband is expected today if a woman feels as though she is not being treated right. However, in the 1890s, it was considered an act of blasphemy. Despite the beautiful prose and profound symbolism, what was controversial in the 1890s is bland by comparison in the era in which we live today.