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Refer closely to the literary and non-literary texts you have studied. Explore how gender roles are constructed through linguistic and literary strategies in the marriage proposals of Mr Collins and the Marquis of Walderhurst.

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Introduction

English Coursework Refer closely to the literary and non-literary texts you have studied. Explore how gender roles are constructed through linguistic and literary strategies in the marriage proposals of Mr Collins and the Marquis of Walderhurst. How do these proposals reject the period in which they were written? When looking at the connection between language and gender it can be seen that due to the male dominated society, language used today is not equitable to both sexes. As a result of male domination throughout history the English language is derogatory towards the female sex. Although equal rights for women are at its highest, sexual stereotypes in society still remain. Examining the different pulp fiction novels from the 50's and 60's, it can be seen that there is a contrast to the way men and women are portrayed. The male characters are represented as strong, authoritative, successful men, whilst the female characters are portrayed as dependent on their appearance and sexuality. These are an example of the novels conforming to the standardized image in society. Researching on semantic derogation in language, it can be seen that even the basic terms used to identify a male or female, had sexually insulting connotations to them. For example, a masculine term such as 'Lord' has positive relations, as it connotates power and status. Yet the feminine equivalent of 'Lady' has over time assumed demeaning connotations such as 'lollipop lady' and 'cleaning lady'. Likewise, the term 'Master' and 'Mistress' assume different meanings, as mistresses are often related to adultery and unfaithfulness, while masters are related to skill and status. Similarly, the term 'bachelor' and the female equivalent 'spinster' have contradictory connotations, as the term referring to the female is negative. A specific kind of asymmetry, in 'marked' and 'unmarked' terms distinguish examples within language. For example, a word such as 'lion' is a marked term while 'lioness' is an unmarked term. ...read more.

Middle

'I shall be uniformly silent, and you may assure yourself that no ungenerous reproach shall ever pass my lips when we are married'. His authority is clearly present in the text. He gives many reasons to why he has chosen to marry her as though expressing that she should feel privileged at the thought. Mr Collins takes over the conversation; he expresses himself very clearly and talks a lot more than Elizabeth Bennet. The unbalance of speech suggests that he is in control of the discussion. Mr Collins speaks in pedagogic utterance he is merely telling her why they will get married. He does not take her rejection seriously and sees this as an encouragement and labels all women to reject the man that they love and believes this is in their nature. Mr Collins technique of persuasion is circumlocution. He takes immense amount of time in proposing, going into much detail factors of why the two shall be married. Mr Collins views are derogatory towards women. His descriptions of women, for example 'nice woman', 'sensible', and 'elegant' conform to the stereotypical ideas of how a woman should be. He does not recognize women as individuals but makes generalizations of how a woman should be. Mr Walderhurst from 'The Making of the Marchioness' is in many ways similar to Mr Collins. Mr Walderhurst is also a very wealthy man. However his approach to proposing to Emily Fox Seton is slightly different. From the language Mr Waldehurst uses it can be seen that he is well educated as his language is formal, yet the discussion between the pair are more of an interactional talk where both equally speak their minds. Mr Walderhurst however is in control of the conversation. He clearly allocates Emily Fox Seton to speak; he directs the questions and initiates the conversation. He is also in charge of the topic of the conversation. ...read more.

Conclusion

Studying the morphology it is also it is also visible to see the male domination by looking at the speech belongs to Sir Thomas whereas Fanny very rarely speaks, and when she does it is only a 'yes' or 'no' response. The use of titles also diminishes the female character as the male characters are referred by titles such as 'Sir' and 'Mr' whereas the female character is referred to by her first name only, as though she is undeserving of a title. Having thoroughly examined the literary and non-linguistic texts in which to identify how gender roles are constructed, I believe there is a strong division between language and gender. At a time when the development of literacy was at its peak, there was a distinct inequality between gender roles, which therefore became present in the language used. The English language today still has biased aspects towards women. Historical referents have been accepted as a norm however without realising this also means accepting male domination. Many changes have been made to the language used today. Although much development has been present, there is still a disparity in the language used. English language has many negative connotations referring to a woman whilst the equivalent word referring to a man has contrasting connotations of status and superiority. Analysing the marriage proposals from different texts also show the evident equality in the way gender roles are construed through language. A woman's choice of whom to marry heavily depended on their status and wealth. Women are portrayed as reliant on men for their financial status. Men were depicted as intelligent, wealthy, dominant characters, whilst women were seen as gullible, na�ve, subordinate characters that relied heavily on their sexuality and appearance to receive a proposal from a wealthy gentleman. Throughout history female subordination has always been present however there are new rights movements and developments for equality and it is evident that there is a vast change in the way we perceive the world and the changing stereotypes within the sexes. Suheyla Yucebag 13.3 1 ...read more.

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