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Discuss How Men and Women are Portrayed in the Three Stories

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Discuss How Men and Women are Portrayed in the Three Stories In this essay I will be discussing how women and men are portrayed in three stories; 'The Black Cottage' by Wilkie Collins, 'Captain Murderer' by Charles Dickens and 'The Speckled Band' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The stories are all Victorian and therefore I will be referring to Victorian Literary Traditions. The villains in the Black Cottage are portrayed very stereo typical, Wilkie Collins has done this so that you are easily able to recognise them as villains almost immediately in this short story. One obvious feature showing that these two characters are suspicious is their names; Shifty Dick and Jerry, these two names are considered very suspicious. Shifty Dick is comical and also an adjective along side with it, in this case 'Shifty' portraying a dodgy character. Jerry could also be considered a criminal's sidekick's name. It is also very blatant to the reader that the two men are criminals because of their physical appearances, narrators reaction to them, their first impressions to the narrator, and the men's response to the narrator. Quotes to back up the idea that they are obviously villains: "He was a tall, heavy man, with a lowering, scarred face, and huge hairy hands--..." ...read more.


I must save my life by running for it, while there is yet still time." "... and I fell down at his feet, for the first time in my life, in a dead swoon." These two quotes shows Bessie beginning to show sense and thinking that she isn't going to win so running away is the only thing she can do. The second quote explains how she collapsed at the farmer's feet in tears, when she does this she acts like a traditional stereotypical Victorian female. Stereo typical Victorian women placed great faith in bodily image; they also admired the strong statuesque lady and the weak fainting beauty. Also it was believed that women should be powerless, in the Victorian era women's rights movements were just starting to take hold but any woman who wanted independence from men were considered unstable and insane. Therefore not taking Bessie's power away, Bessie would be too unconventional and the audience would find the story too hard to accept. In captain murderer the women do not have any names; this could be because no matter who they are their actions describe their personality. They all seem to be stupid, to marry a man called 'Captain Murderer'. Victorian beliefs follow that sexually attractive females are a threat and they are generally murdered in a Victorian novels. ...read more.


In order for society triumphing over the captain there had had to be a human sacrifice (the dark twin). In 'The Speckled Band' there is also a case of good triumphing over evil, evil being Dr. Roylott and good being Helen and the Heroes being Holmes and Watson. This story is the most conventional because through out Helen, the woman, is always the victim and Holmes, the man, will always be the hero. However 'The Black Cottage' is an unconventional story because to start with the Hero is a woman, at the end of the story the Bessie gets transformed from a hero to a victim then the farmer is the hero because the reader would have not accepted an unconventional ending i.e. Bessie defeating the evil. I preferred 'The Black Cottage' because it was more exiting than 'Captain Murderer' because in 'Captain Murderer' there was a lot of repetition and you knew what would happen next, where as 'The Black Cottage' the reader would be kept on the edge of their seats because they didn't know what would happen next. The reader would also be sub-consciously asking questions about the story, therefore the reader never gets bored. Therefore the 'Black Cottage' is my favourite story. The speckled band is my least ?? ?? ?? ?? Discuss How Men and Women are Portrayed In The Three Stories By James Lugger Page 1 of 5 ...read more.

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