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

Compare how each author presents attitudes towards marriage in "The Three Sisters" by Jane Austen, and "Teresa's Wedding" by William Trevor

Extracts from this document...


Compare how each author presents attitudes towards marriage in "The Three Sisters" by Jane Austen, and "Teresa's Wedding" by William Trevor Although 'The Three Sisters' is believed to be written before 1792 and 'Teresa's Wedding' was published in 1993, being two hundred years apart does not have such a significant effect as would have been expected. As the themes, ideas, societies, and views are similar, they are extremely alike. However, they also have very apparent contrasts due to the periods in which they were set and written in. The most significant contrast between the two is their narrative style and this is important because it affects the way in which marriages of the time are perceived. 'The Three Sisters' is set and was written in the Regency Period and is presented in an epistolary style, which was very popular at this time. It is also very subjective, writing from the point of view of alternate narrators and characters. 'Teresa's Wedding' in contrast, is very objective, for example when Trevor says, "In know way did Teresa love him". This is very powerful because it is very impassive and he is stating her feelings rather than relating them. This makes the readers aware of her feelings at all times instead of them trying to understand her feelings, thus making it easier to show the motive behind getting married and how she was forced. 'Teresa's Wedding' is set in the 1960's, in Ireland. At this time they were very religious and life revolved around the moral principles and teaching of Catholicism. In 'The Three Sisters', Austen uses unusual syntax, which might seem archaic in comparison to the contemporary style of today, which Trevor uses. In Austen's "novel" she says, "Mr Watt's figure is unfortunately extremely vulgar and his Countenance is very heavy". Whereas when Trevor describes a character he says, "The bride, who had been Teresa Atty and was now Teresa Cornish, had a round pretty face and black, pretty hair, and was a month and a half pregnant". ...read more.


The loveless marriage of Teresa is similar to Mary in 'The Three Sisters', as she does not love Mr Watts but actually hates him, yet she is forced by her erratic temperament. As is apparent from her second letter, when her mother is actually introduced into the story instead of referred to. Mary's mother is very astute in her ways and says, "I am not going to force you" however she then goes on to say that if Mary doesn't accept him then "Sophy may", psychologically compelling her to marry Mr Watts, because, as she said before, she "could not bear either of them to be married before" her, meaning Sophy and Georgiana. Mary then says to her mother that she "shall certainly marry him". In this way Father Hogan is similar, he is cunning as well, as Teresa said that "she didn't love him or feel anything for him one way or the other" and "Father Hogan had replied that in the circumstances all that line of talk was irrelevant", and he could make her believe she had to marry Artie because of the power he had in the town. He demonstrates this power with Teresa and Artie and proves that religion has a bigger influence on their lives than love. Just as in 'The Three Sisters', money and status has a bigger influence than love. In Austen's "novel", Mary's mother appears to be extremely determined to have her daughter's married, because even if Mary is not to be married to Mr Watts, one of her daughters will, as she says, "I am determined not to let such an opportunity escape of settling one of my Daughters so advantageously". This is perhaps because she needs the money for when she is older, and cannot support her daughters as well as herself, so she must have them married before they are too old because otherwise they will not be taken for a wife. ...read more.


Mary, however, was extremely materialistic and this may be because she is the eldest and was more liable to be spoilt before Georgiana and Sophy were born. She is self-obsessed and ostentatious, so expects more than what Mr Watts is willing to offer, this is the main reason for her hatred against him. Georgiana is not materialistic and does not expect as much as Sophy. She wants a husband who is the complete opposite of Mr Watts. Mr Watts in her description is "So deficient in every respect. Hideous in his person and without one good Quality to make amends for it. His fortune is good. Yet not so very large! Three thousand a year. What is three thousand a year? It is but six times as much as my Mother's income. It will not tempt me" Mrs Stanhope wants society to remain as it is, because if it does not than she will not be supported in her old age, and so she tries to force her daughters to marry for money instead of love, as she feels this is their duty. This shows that times were changing during the Regency period, Austen's era, and she was an early feminist. In 'The Three Sisters', the motivation behind Mary's marriage was to surpass the Duttons and her sisters, and gratify her mother, and in 'Teresa's Wedding', Teresa and Artie also married to satisfy, but were pleasing the community. Although society was different in 'The Three Sisters' compared to 'Teresa's Wedding', the attitudes towards marriage are the same. In both, life was lived by what was expected of them, rather than what they dreamed of doing. In 'Teresa's Wedding', marriage could be seen as an escape from parental dominance, as it was with Agnes. Segregation was evident in both, as marriage is to raise status in Austen's "novel", and there was separation amongst the guests at the wedding. Overall, the stories were very similar in theme, however, they contrasted strongly in style and address, but both were as effective giving good historical evidence and an excellent account. Dominique Briggs- English- Ms Stokes 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 Jane Austen 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 Jane Austen essays

  1. What does Jane Austen’s ‘The Three Sisters’ show us about the lives of women ...

    mother's resolution, which I am sorry to say is generally kept more strict than rationally formed" This shows that although Georgiana is opposed to her mother's attitude towards the marriage she has to show respect towards her and therefore doesn't express this to her.

  2. From a reading of Jane Austen's short stories what do we learn about women's ...

    Austen gives a general view towards marriage as negative and does not seem to support the system. She shows this opinion through sarcasm and irony to describe women's attitude towards marriage. She portrays the women to be pretentious and shallow by exaggerating these facets in her writing.

  1. Pride and Prejudice is a novel by Jane Austen written in the early 1800s. ...

    Mr Collins is a subservient character as he obeys others without question; especially Lady Catherine de Burgh who is very manipulative, powerful and respected. She is one of richest and most influential women of the area and attends Mr Collins parish, therefore I suspect that for this reason he feels

  2. How does Jane Austen present love and marriage in

    Most of the first part of the novel is based around Mr Collins who, from his arrival, brings the topic of marriage into the minds of all of the characters. Austen uses the sub-plot relationship between Mr Collins and Charlotte to implicitly criticise the way in which women in Regency

  1. Explore in detail how Elizabeths views and actions are not of a Typical Regency ...

    Darcy full of pride. Mr. Darcy states that "There is not another woman in the room whom it would not be a punishment to me to stand up with." Elizabeth hates his pride and lack of respect for others. She thinks he is the most unagreeable man unlike his friend Bingley.

  2. The attitudes towards love and marriage that are presented in the novel

    Although to begin with Darcy is not attracted to Elizabeth as soon as he starts to get to know her and her personality he tells her 'You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.' Elizabeth is surprised how much he has changed his mind.

  1. A Comparison of Charles Dickens and Jane Austen

    to believe that Britain was engaged in war during the writing of this novel! 'The inhabitants of Meryton and its environs seem untouched by history, politics or social and industrial change.' (Gray & Gray, 2001) Unlike the ugliness and suffocating environment characterising Coketown, it is easy to visualise the world

  2. Charlotte Lucas says, "Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance." With close ...

    Another way that Mr and Mrs. Bennet can be seen as mismatched is Austen's description of them both. She uses repetition in three to emphasise both of their personalities, which are highly contrasting. Mr. Bennet is described as having "sarcastic humour, reserve and caprice", on the other hand, Mrs.

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