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I am going to be explaining how writers in my chosen stories have presented their female characters. I will be investigating whether or not the females fit their typical stereotype in the nineteenth Century

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Introduction

Prose Fiction: Coursework For this coursework I am going to be explaining how writers in my chosen stories have presented their female characters. I will be investigating whether or not the females fit their typical stereotype in the nineteenth Century of being very submissive and gullible. I will also look at what sort of way they fit that stereotype within everyday life or on a long term basis. To have a range in this investigation I will concentrate on the contradicting stereotype of being independent and confident as a women not fitting in with how a typical nineteenth century woman would expect to act. Certain consequences of not acting as the stereotype are proven to not necessarily make that particular woman worse off as we see in the short stories I am looking at. Through stories I have read containing characters based on the nineteenth century women one of the ideas that was most obvious to me was that of the characters being typical nineteenth century woman at the start of the short story and then turning out to be a lot stronger then we first perceived. The first character I am going to mention which fits into this idea is Dorothea from the short story 'The Unexpected' by Kate Chopin. Chopin shows Dorothea to be a loving, doting wife, impatient towards her husband arriving home. She is shown to be a perfect fit for her stereotype. She is dependant on her husband and excited and desperate for his arrival home. Chopin describes it as 'torture' for Dorothea as she waits for her husband. This is very extreme language for the author to use to demonstrate just how Dorothea is feeling. Dorothea is commented to having 'reached the limit of her endurance'; this suggests why the reader feels she is very reliant on her beloved as it seems she cannot cope without him. ...read more.

Middle

She marries Mr Twycott more for respect then love which 'almost amounted to veneration'. Mr Twycott knows he is marrying beneath him and will lose all the respect he has gained as said in the narrative part of the story; 'Mr Twycott knew perfectly well that he had committed social suicide by this step'. He moves to London because of the fact he feels Sophy is beneath him. Sophy could have refuses Mr Twycott's marriage proposal but has no power or confidence in herself to do this as she is scared of the consequences if she does not do as she is told by the males in her life. Hardy puts Sophy across as being the perfect stereotype for typical nineteenth century through this action; domination by males. The second character that I feel fits into this stereotype for being totally stereotype is Milly Richards again from the short story 'Tony Kytes the Arch-Deceiver' by Thomas Hardy. Milly is seen to be the perfect stereotype for the nineteenth century woman. She has the husband ready for her and is very devoted to him and is presented as being very dominated by him and his needs. She is submissive to Tony and gullible to what he says. Her behaviour around him is very much like what women in the nineteenth century were expected to be like and did what was expected of them. As the short story develops we see that Milly is of a very na�ve nature as she is asked to hide from one of the other women in the story for the sake of 'keeping the peace' between that particular woman and Tony. Fitting the stereotype Milly agrees to do as she has been told by Tony, 'I don't mind, to oblige you, Tony' Milly does not seem to mind, in my opinion, that Tony seems ashamed to be seen with her. ...read more.

Conclusion

She is possibly the best example of the contradicting stereotype along with the next character I am going to talk about; Mrs Progit. Mrs Progit is a character of copious figure which gets in the way a lot and an obstruction to other people. She completely contradicts her stereotype by being very confident in her behaviour and brings desolation and devastation into other people lives in the short story. She has taken over the house. Mrs Progit won't let Mr Meek see his son as well as Mrs Bigby. She wants to keep the child to herself and raised a storm about the subject. She has power and alienates Maria Jane's affections towards Mr Meek with the power she has. She pushes Mr Meek about which is not what her stereotype would do. She is supposed to be quiet and dominated by males but instead there has been a role reversal regarding Mrs Progit. She is completely confident in her own nature and does not let herself get pushed around by the male but instead gives them a taste of their own medicine. This is what women in the nineteenth century did not have the power and confidence to do because they were afraid of the consequences. In conclusion of this piece of coursework I feel I have successfully explored how different writers have presented female characters in their short stories to show different ways in which women could act in the nineteenth century and the results how they act towards other characters in the stories. I read a range of different stories that I felt would get all the different views across and only included those stories that I thought had solid evidence of different ways in which women felt they had to be like or what they wanted to be like. I think I have investigated how the writers create their characters and form the reader's opinions of those particular characters using structure and clever writing techniques. ?? ?? ?? ?? English Coursework 08/05/2007 Gemma Thompson Mr Weir 11JKE Prose Fiction ...read more.

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