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

Comparison of three nineteenth century short stories.

Extracts from this document...


Comparison of three nineteenth century short stories In the nineteenth century attitudes were very different to how they are today, as reflected in the books and short stories written in this period. The three short stories I shall be focusing on are: * 'The Yellow Wallpaper'---Charlotte Perkins Gilman * 'Tony Kytes-The Arch Deceiver--- Thomas Hardy * 'The Stolen Bacillus'---H. G. Wells I have selected these three short stories, as they appear to have similarities in some aspects and differences in others; they also reveal much about how life was in the nineteenth century. 'The Yellow Wallpaper' is about a woman who moves out to the countryside to undergo a rest cure treatment for postnatal depression. It is the story of how she is treated by her husband and those around her. Mental illness in the nineteenth century was misunderstood. It was treated in the opposite way to how it is treated now. 'The Yellow Wallpaper' is narrated by the main character entirely in diary form, so it gives a very personal view of the story and the emotions involved. It starts by the narrator going straight into the story with no introduction or background knowledge given. The narrator and her husband are renting a country house to live in for the summer. It is shown in the first paragraph that the narrator thinks there is something strange about the setting by the way in which she describes it as "A colonial mansion, a hereditary estate, I would say a haunted house...- but that would be asking too much of fate!" She is obviously suspicious of the house, and even seems slightly paranoid. Her relationship with her husband John becomes clear very soon into the story. He is the dominating partner and takes it upon himself to look after her, believing that she is not able to look after herself and must be put in the responsibility of his, more capable hand 'He assures friends and family there is really nothing the matte with me'. ...read more.


He makes their lives seem very dull and as if they only have the aim of getting married and having a family. Thomas Hardy also tells us that in this time in history women are supported by men all through their lives. Their fathers are in control of them until they find a husband, who will be able to control them. This could be seen as a different attitude compared to today when many children are from single parent families who have no male influence in their lives. A similarity between Tony Kytes-The Arch Deceiver and 'The Yellow Wallpaper' is the way women are seen. Thomas Hardy treats women as very much second-class. He often makes them seem weak and stupid. Examples of this in 'Tony Kytes- The Arch Deceiver' are when Unity, Milly and Hannah cannot control the horses; 'She can't hold that horse in, you shouldn't have left the reins in her hands'. This could be seen as humorous in the nineteenth century as it is like a pantomime. Charlotte Perkins Gilman does not make women seem as they are weak, but still shows them to be second-class and as if their views do not matter. An example of this is when nobody wants to listen to the narrator when she puts forward ideas on how to treat her postnatal depression. 'Personally, I believe that congenial work, with excitement and change would do me good' When Tony Kytes sees his dad calling him he goes straight over to him. He confesses the situation he had got himself in to with Unity, Milly and Hannah in his wagon. In the nineteenth century the father's role was very important and they were like the law. Whenever your father told you to do something you would have to do it. Society at the time would be angry with Thomas Hardy for making Tony Kytes oppose his father, when he is advised to marry the only girl who did not invite herself to ride in Tony's wagon. ...read more.


The language in all three short stories could be seen as being old fashioned. Words are in the style of how they were in the nineteenth century. Examples of this in the three short stories are in ''The Yellow Wallpaper'' they call a doctor a physician. In 'Tony Kytes-The Arch Deceiver' there are many old nineteenth century words used including 'o the petticoats went off, and the breaches went on'. In 'The Stolen Bacillus' there are also several nineteenth century words used including ethnology. The most successful short story for telling me about the nineteenth century was 'Tony Kytes-The Arch Deceiver' Thomas Hardy had written about lots of different occurrences that took place in the nineteenth century and has had the courage to write about the true happenings. This short story would have also caused the most outrage in the nineteenth century as it tells the truth about such issues as women flirting with men and sons and daughters disobeying their fathers. Although people in the nineteenth century knew about these happenings they did not want to have to be reminded about them and read about them. The most successful short story to people in the nineteenth century was 'The Stolen Bacillus'. I think this would have sold the most copies in shops as it was about cholera, which many people would have been interested in. It was also not as controversial as the other two short stories as it didn't tackle issues that were as delicate. 'The Yellow Wallpaper' would have been seen as a very controversial short story in the nineteenth century. It was mainly centred on postnatal depression and mental illness. This topic was not widely talked about at this period in time as it was seen to be an embarrassment if you knew someone with a mental illness. Although I have referred to the three short stories as all being written in the nineteenth century, they were actually written in the 1890s. I think a better genre for the three short stories would be early twentieth century, as they would fit in that category more than the nineteenth century. ...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. Compare and contrast Tony Kytes, the arch deceiver by Thomas Hardy and Turned by ...

    This is interesting, as two similar characters separated by time and place should share similar disregard for women. Mr Marroner and Tony are both very different people, Mr Marroner is a well-educated man, we know this as he's " travelling on business", whereas Tony is an uneducated farmer.

  2. I am going to be comparing two short stories. The first story 'The Grave ...

    Luke Holway came back once again and could not find neither the choir men nor the priest so he went to the graveyard to see if he could find his father's tombstone but could not find any trace of his father's body in the graveyard.

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

    She will 'pounce on youths' and 'push off the men.' The tramcar step is her 'Thermopylae'. Annie is a tartar as she unexpectedly turns onto John Thomas. She was a leader and at Annie's signal 'they all flew at him.'

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

    This is a good situation for the two. They also have a very good, if less exiting relationship. They are going along happily until they encounter Hannah. We are told by Hardy that Hannah was Tony's first love, so she must also share a good relationship with him.

  1. Thomas Hardy, 'Tony Kytes, the Arch Deceiver' and Charlotte Perkins Gilman 'Turned' In what ...

    On the other hand, Mr. Marroner, a rich, wealthy business man with a good reputation, forces Gerta, an innocent young woman, to sleep with him because she is being obedient and doing her job. Mr. Marroner knows what the consequences will be, but still he sleeps with her, hurting both his wife who loved and trusted him and Gerta.

  2. This essay is aimed at discussing the differences between two short stories, called 'The ...

    When Farmer Lodge moved into the town with his new wife, Gertrude Lodge, Rhoda was jealous as Gertrude had "hair of a lightish tint and her face as comely as a live dolls."

  1. Discuss the way in which the authors present women in the four short stories.

    However, their bond is a secret one, if they were to openly be kind to each other, it would seem an unladylike thing to do. "She and I never spoke to each other." Many people bring up the idea of lesbianism in this story, however this would be severely frowned upon during the 19th Century and wouldn't be accepted.

  2. Which of the women in the pre nineteen-hundreds short stories set for study are ...

    Infact the main job of a woman pre nineteen-hundred woman was to be married and have children. After this Dorothes is saying in her head 'never,never,never'. This is not how you would expect a woman to respond. Despite all of this Dorothea still cannot tell Randall that she doesn't love him.

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