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

Compare the ways in which at least two of the texts you have studied explore the theme of social deviance. You will need to specify what this deviance consists in, and give details of how the Victorian social norms are transgressed.

Extracts from this document...


Compare the ways in which at least two of the texts you have studied explore the theme of social deviance. You will need to specify what this deviance consists in, and give details of how the Victorian social norms are transgressed. Like any novel depicting the theme of social deviance, the basis of the text is taken from the social and political climate's that are appropriate to the time that the text is written. Indeed, during Queen Victoria's reign, the social alienation of the working class as well as societies prejudices towards women helped to spawn literature that exhibited the other side of the so called 'coin', with stories that challenged the general social perceptions of these ostracised groups. These concepts that questioned Victorian social 'norms' are best illustrated in the texts Oliver Twist and Jane Eyre, with both texts producing manifestations through the stories protagonists of attitudes that don't conform to the expected traits of either the working class or women. Furthermore, both Charles Dickens and Charlotte Bronte draw parallel's in their respective texts to aspects of their own lives by reflecting the prejudices that they personally incurred whilst growing up in Victorian Britain. ...read more.


However, the significance of these episodes is not only that they show higher-societies contempt for the lower class, but also that they help to display the attitudes of the respective protagonists within these challenging environments. The use of the 'restrictive' imagery in the cited extracts, and the noble and intelligent reactions to this harsh treatment that each protagonist gives, in my opinion enables Dickens and Bronte to produce a critique of the working classes vigour in a social context which contrasts higher-societies pre-conceived judgements of the working class as 'useless'. By voicing the opinions that the lower class are only 'helpless' because the social infrastructure of the Victorian age did not allow them to break away from their working class shackles, both authors transgress social norms by presenting Oliver and Jane as socially deviant to this general public perception. I am running away. They beat and ill-use me, Dick; and I am going to seek my fortune some long way off, I don't know where. (Oliver Twist p.56) The theme of slavery and restriction is further highlighted by Jane's opinion of marriage, through the presentation of Cassy's relationship with Simon ...read more.


What was Oliver's horror and alarm as he stood a few paces off, looking on with his eye-lids as wide open as they would possible go, to see the Dodger plunge his hand into this old gentleman's pocket. (Oliver Twist p.76) Some may argue the point that Oliver's noble disposition is due to the fact that he is in fact a member of the upper classes because he gains the family inheritance, however, further credence is added to Dickens argument that intelligence and nobility is not restricted to the upper classes through his portrayal of Nancy. As if to eliminate any uncertainties regarding the intelligence of the working class, Dickens places Nancy in the position of a prostitute - one of the most socially condemned positions of Victorian times - and yet through Nancy displays the most noble act of the novel when she sacrifices her own life to save Oliver. 'Those were his words,' said Nancy, glancing uneasily round, as she scarcely ceased to do since she began to speak, for a vision of Sikes haunted her perpetually. (Oliver Twist p.335) Oliver's presentation as almost 'angelic' is the binary opposite to that of Fagin. ...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 Charlotte Bronte 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 Charlotte Bronte essays

  1. in an essay of not more than 1500 words, compare and contrast the means ...

    Yet his attack on the system is not an obvious overt critique but cleverly, woven into the story of Eliza the lower class woman forever concerned about her character, and Higgins the upper class educator who stubbornly will not change his ways and believes he is always right.

  2. Attitudes assignment- a class divided. Social Experiment in a primary school class to ...

    They then believed in this "fact". Because they believed that this certain thing is true; this would become apparent in their cognitive state. In this case, half the class felt superior, and the other half inferior. Now that they believed that this certain thing was true, this would affect their behaviour.

  1. By Looking Closely At The Central Relationship, Consider To What Extent Jane Eyre and ...

    scenery like Rebecca to enhance the romance of the story and to relate to the characters? On their first encounter, Jane Eyre makes a lot of references to the surrounding scenery, as she takes a 'pleasant winter afternoon walk'. She emphasizes that the 'best winter delight' is the 'utter solitude'

  2. Analyse and evaluate Bronte's presentation of Rochester and St John Rivers

    he is saying making us disagree with St john and having an automatic slight dislike to him. St John is a determined character and is very ambitious yet he has no romantic passion and is very fundamentalist in terms of his strong believe in Christianity.

  1. Compare the presentation of Childhood in Charlotte Brontë's 'Jane Eyre' and Laurie Lee's 'Cider ...

    He was in a way, brought up on the assumption that if a child were to be left alone, they would find out and learn things in their own way. "I could climb the high bed by sing the ironwork as a ladder.

  2. From your study of pre 20th century texts, discuss the theme of schooldays and ...

    what he had learnt before "I began to feel the words I have been in infinite pains to get into my head all sliding away" this was because of the Murdstones "The very sight of these two has such an influence over me" this may be because of pressure and

  1. Considering in detail one or two passages - discuss the presentation and significance of ...

    because she would be forced to keep her true feelings and her true passions always in check. St Johns proposal can be characterized as unromantic and oppressing since he practically forces Jane to marry him. When she refuses and keeps refusing, St John doesn't take no for an answer and he keeps on dragging the proposal.

  2. Jane's experience in Lowood School is representative of life in Victorian England. Discuss with ...

    This image produces compassion on our behalf. Christmas is a time of family unity and togetherness. Yet, Jane is left alone, without family, without love. When Jane is first introduced to Mr. Brocklehurst, Bronte uses phallic symbolism to describe him. She calls him a " black pillar," "standing erect."

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