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Explore how males are presented in the Victorian short stories studied. How do you think original readers interpreted the characters?

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Introduction

English Coursework Explore how males are presented in the Victorian short stories studied. How do you think original readers interpreted the characters? Charles Dickens was a prominent author who wrote on the historical eighteenth century issues relevant to the Victorian context. He wrote the following short stories and novels, Captain Murderer, Sikes and Nancy and the Great Expectations. In these stories there are three comparable characters that I am going to compare and contrast. These characters are Captain Murderer (from Captain Murderer), Sikes (from Sikes and Nancy) and finally Magwitch (from Great Expectations). Additionally, I will also refer, where possible, to the historical and Victorian context within which they are written. Dickens initially introduces Captain Murderer by saying, "he intrudes on his peaceful youth". The suggestion here is that Captain Murderer is unwelcome and it is reinforced by the fact that Dickens describes him as "a wretch". Captain Murderer is also described as a "diabolical character". This contrasts with the phrase "peaceful youth". In addition, the author describes Captain Murderer's ancestors. ...read more.

Middle

In the novel there are various places where Captain Murderer behaves bizarrely, "Planted with curious flowers", "laughed at his ferocious practical joke" and "humorously resorted" are three illustrations of this point. Dickens uses these phrases to show that Captain Murderer acts in an abnormal manner. This is unusual for an upper class citizen. His language and manner are upper class with an educated vocabulary. This is shown by, "They are called garnish for house - lamb," Captain Murderer is a cunning character who is very sly and well organised. Finally, Captain Murderer dies a gruesome death, which in my opinion, he deserves. In referring to the historical, Victorian context and how the original readers interpreted the characters we can see from the twenty first century viewpoint, that women were considered to be a child producing machines whose sole role in life was to run the house. They were also expected to be charming as a hostess and engage in feminine pursuits such as playing the piano and sewing. ...read more.

Conclusion

Magwitch's aggressive character is showed in the phrase, "'Keep still, you little devil, or I'll cut your throat!'" Another comparison mentioned earlier is that they all are criminals. Captain Murderer and Sikes both kill women. In Captain Murderer's case more than one woman. "With a great iron on his leg." Magwitch seems to have an iron chain, which demonstrates that he was doing time in jail. Sikes is a dangerous character, "drink of laudanum", "I was to die by his hand" are two quotes, spoken by Nancy. This proves and shows that she knew that what ever happened, Sikes would resolve to kill her. For this reason she had to obtain a sleep - inducing drug for Sikes called "laudanum". In the other two novels the characters are not known to be directly dangerous to the partner but prove to be so. "See the Captain cutting her head off;" Dickens presents his males in the novels as having strength. Captain Murderer's strength lies in him indirectly controlling his wives, by appearing to be nice to his wives initially. Magwitch's strength appears to be in his escape from prison. Sikes' strength appears when he slaughters Nancy. ...read more.

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