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Compare and contrast the presentation of women in a selection of the nineteenth century short stories that you have studied

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Compare and contrast the presentation of women in a selection of the nineteenth century short stories that you have studied There are two main stories we studied in this topic 'The Withered Arm' and 'Tony Kytes: The Arch-deceiver' but also another story which ties in is 'The Sons Veto'. All three of these stories were written by Thomas Hardy portraying the way women were treated. In 'Tony Kytes: The Arch-deceiver' all the women are gullible and desperate but it also shows how men treat women and what they thought of them as in the 'Withered Arm' in which Rhoda is made to look like a devil just because she isn't married and has lost her virtue. As Thomas Hardy lived in a time when marriage was the only option, he decided to portray this in his stories. ...read more.


Unity and Hannah turned him down as they wanted their dignity but they still looked back as they walked away wanting Tony to follow. Even after all of that Milly accepted his proposal proving really that perhaps not all women but a lot of them were desperate. The second story and perhaps the most important is "The Withered Arm". This story in particular really shows what people thought about women who had lost their virtue. In this story Rhoda is the woman chosen to be portrayed in this way, in the story Rhoda is portrayed as the devil when she visits Gertrude in a dream and leaves a scar on her arm. "She fancied that she discerned them the shape of her own four fingers" Gertrude is confused as she thought it was a dream but she is left with a terrible scar. ...read more.


Also as in the 'Withered Arm' women who were not married were frowned upon: "Well-do you want to marry him?" -vicar "Not much. But it would be a home for me." -sophy People nowadays would probably see it the other way round. Now marriage is meant to be forever because you love each other but Sophy and Sam didn't see it this way they just wanted to get married because it was convenient and also it made Sophy look as if she weren't fallen. In my opinion women were treated with no respect unless they're married and I believe this wrong. Women deserve to have their own life and be able to live it their way, and in the 19th century people frowned upon this. Today women are treated with the respect when they deserve it and there are few sexist views around, this is a welcome change from the 19th Century when women were treated wrongly and with little respect. ...read more.

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