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How Do The Roles Of Women Affect The Lives of Pip and Laurie?

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How Do The Roles Of Women Affect The Lives of Pip and Laurie? Lives of both boys are affected equally as greatly by the roles of women in both these novels however the way in which is affects them is worlds apart. The interaction between the boys and women in the prominent incidents of the novel plays a vital role in the way the boys develop in their transitions of life. The roles women play effect both boys' emotions due to the vastly different treatment each receive. Laurie Lee in "Cider with Rosie" has a pleasant, nurtured cared for upbringing and his experiences with women only favour his view of them overall as a genre of people. His favouritism of women starts early on in Laurie's rural life. Laurie is left, unexplainably, to fend for himself for a short while out in the long grass of the Slad Valley meadows when he was just a toddler. He is "rescued" by his sisters. "From this daylight nightmare I was awakened, as many another, by the appearance of my sisters" This however is not the only time women play favourable roles in Laurie's early life. On morning an innocent Laurie awakes to find a "whitewashed bedroom". His young naive perceptions of this incident are very far from reality. " I heard the singing of the birds. Yet there was nothing at all to be seen...was I dead"? ...read more.


But this is not the only unpleasant experience Pip has during his first visit to Satis House. Pip is excited by the prospect of seeing more of the "pretty and very proud" Estella however she then treats him "with a carelessness that was far from complimentary" as if "she had been one and twenty and a queen." Pip's early childhood is riddled with torment and cruelties. The aforementioned are prime examples of the incidents that shape the path of Pip's life and his eventual coming of age. Laurie's early life is straightforward and the major incidents, which affect his future, happen with a clear sense of simplicity and kindness. A possible theory of the success for both boys with the opposite sex is the discussion already touched on. The possibilities that the early encounters with women are responsible for the attitudes of both Laurie and Pip toward women in the latter stages of both their lives. For Laurie this is his traditional adolescence and for Pip his troublesome early manhood. For Laurie women become second nature due to the majority of his time being spent with his all female family. His constant contact with them during his domestic based existence aids him positively meaning he can relate to women with ease. This is evident in his encounter with Rosie. Even though his "dry and dripping...icy hot" mixed feelings are running wild he takes the encounter completely in his stride as if the whole experience was no more than a dance. ...read more.


The use of Satis House and the kitchen in Laurie's home is comparable as these two focal points around which these matriarchal relationships take place. Laurie often resides there with his family: " The day was over...When evening came we returned to the kitchen, back to its smoky comfort...to its wrappings of warmth and cooking." Again the two centres of the novels are comparably different. Pip's first experiences scare him and make him uneasy in and around Satis House. "I was half afraid...No glimpse of daylight was to be seen" The two books when together turn the societies of the dusk and dawn of the 20th century upside down. The most chronologically advanced of the pair (Cider wit Rosie) is an almost pre Victorian rural age. One "of silence...of white roads, rutted by hooves and cartwheels, innocent of oil and petrol" This in comparison with Great Expectations. An urban novel at the forefront of the industrial revolution. In a world where money and material possessions are the mainstay of happiness. All in a hierarchical society. The explanation for why the lives are so different is perhaps from the perspective that both novels are written from. Laurie Lee looks back on his childhood with rose tinted glasses and an extreme sense of nostalgia. His ability to filter his memories and include only the prominent and the pleasant memory give the book a honey coated glaze. However Great Expectations is a first hand (fictional) account of one boy's life filled with pain, torment, cruelty, emotional rupture and the harsh realities of an industrial and modern world. ...read more.

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