• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Choose Three Stories from the Collection and Comment on How They Illustrate the Position of Women in Late Nineteenth Century Society.

Extracts from this document...


Matthew Mckittrick Highfield High School 28/09/2003 Choose Three Stories from the Collection and Comment on How They Illustrate the Position of Women in Late Nineteenth Century Society. In this essay I am going to give a brief summary of three stories from a collection we have read and then look in detail at and comment on how they portray the position of women in the nineteenth century. All the stories we read were taken from the book, 'Nineteenth Century Short Stories'. The three I have chosen to look at in more detail and use in this essay are, 'The Unexpected' by Kate Chopin, 'A Woman's Rose' by Olive Schreiner and 'Tony Kytes, The Arch-Deceiver' by Thomas Hardy. The first story is 'The Unexpected' by Kate Chopin. This story is about a betrothed couple who appear to be deeply in love. The two main characters in the story are the couple, Randall and Dorothea. When Randall had to leave for a while, they sent "daily impassioned" letters to each other and seem to miss each other a great deal. They were a very passionate couple and there was obviously a great physical desire; when Randall left there were "lingering kisses and sighs" their behavior would also have been seen as inappropriate and been frowned upon during the nineteenth century. ...read more.


She also liked the power she held over the men who would do anything she commanded them to "I was like a child with a new whip." Olive Schreiner was obviously a great believer in the strength of women and had a lot of hope that in the future women would have more rights in society. From this story it appears that women were treated as items, as objects, as a craze that would pass from one woman to the next; when one woman gets a little bit older and the men get a little bit bored of her, all the attention would pass to the younger, better looking model. Men at this time thought so little of women they thought that they could be bought or bribed into marriage. They thought that whoever could buy her the most flowers or offer her the most extravagant, expensive gifts would be the champion and win the woman's hand in marriage. In this story they underestimated both the women concerned. Of all the things in the narrators in the narrator's box the item with the greatest significance to her is the withered white rose. The rose to her is symbolic of the special value of female friendship. It reminds her of the strength of women in a society dominated by men's rules and power. ...read more.


All decisions were made for them and for a woman to make decisions for herself and to be independent was completely unheard of. Women had no real control over their own lives and they had very limited choices. Women were expected to conform to the rules of society and many of them had a desire to do so but they were torn between that and their own needs and desires. I personally think, Women were treated unfairly and the way they were treated was quite wrong. Even in the nineteenth century women should have been treated like they are today; with equal rights, able to make their own decisions, have freedom of thought and speech and don't feel oppressed when it comes to sharing their opinions. But most of all they have their own independence. Of the three, my favorite story was 'Tony Kytes, The Arch-Deceiver'. This was my favorite, probably because I found it humorous but at the same time quite astonishing in that, now women have the rights they do, there is no way this could happen in modern day society. It was obvious from the beginning that Tony was going to get caught out in the end. At the time, I think this story might have been a comedy, but at the same time as having a comedy outline, the story also dealt with issues that in the nineteenth century would have been acceptable but today would be seen as chauvinistic and unacceptable. 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Thomas Hardy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Thomas Hardy essays

  1. Comparison of "Tony Kytes, the arch deceiver" by Thomas Hardy and "Tickets please" by ...

    The women are 'predators' whereas John Thomas is the 'prey'. Annie was a 'swift cat' and John Thomas was now 'their sport'. We visualise hunting images as John Thomas lay 'like an animal' as he 'was at the mercy of the captor'.

  2. Compare 'The Unexpected' by Kate Chopin, 'The Arch Deceiver' by Thomas Hardy and 'News ...

    These stories were written at a time when the suggestions that women could behave independently would have been shocking. In the Victorian times women would have been so dependant on men that they would not have acted independently. They would have married for money and status and not cared about the age or appearance of the men.

  1. 'The Woman's Rose' By Olive Schreiner, 'The Story Of An Hour' By Kate Chopin ...

    'I would have given all their compliments if she would have smiled at me as she smiled at them.' She seems to admire the girl. The way she describes the girl '...

  2. Essay with reference to the following Thomas Hardy short stories "Tony Kytes: Arch Deceiver", ...

    But if we look carefully at the language used we can see words like "slain", and "quivering" which suggest that she is really upset. This was another story of lack of trustworthiness between couples. The last story which I have chosen to include in my comparison is "Old Mrs.

  1. Images depicting the physical and mental coercion of women by men: A discussion of ...

    This is all shown by the expression. Her mouth is stretched open as wide as she can stretch it and because of this both sets of her teeth are fully visible as is a large area of inside her mouth.

  2. Write about Thomas Hardy's treatment of women in his short stories. How far do ...

    However, this narrator then goes on to question the women's vanity when 'it should be all demolished regularly at bedtime'. In the 'Arch deceiver' Hardy shows how obsessed women are. Unity Sallet, a handsome girl who is fond of Tony, questions him about her beauty.

  1. 'How did authors show that women were treated differently in the Nineteenth Century?'

    He decides that the right girl is "whichever of 'em did not ask to ride" with Tony. Tony's father belived that it was okay for men to be forward but it was not okay for women to be forward. This shows that in the Nineteenth century women were not supposed

  2. Compare the treatment of males and females in the two stories; Tony Kytes the ...

    The girls are merely looking for marriage- to uphold their status maybe to prove that they are better than one another. All the girls are easily led and very gullible it seems that they never consider Tony's words of wisdom.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work