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In this assignment I am going to compare the two short stories "The Three Sisters" by Jane Austen and "Teresa's Wedding" by William Trevor. The two stories seem different at first but they both tell a story of love marriage and deception.

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Introduction

Wide Reading Assignment In this assignment I am going to compare the two short stories "The Three Sisters" by Jane Austen and "Teresa's Wedding" by William Trevor. The two stories seem different at first but they both tell a story of love marriage and deception. "The Three Sisters" written by Jane Austen is set in upper-middle class England in the 18th century and tells the story of three sisters who are being pressured to marry a man that none of them want to marry but feel that one of them have to or face social embarrassment. The story is written in a very clever way where we see the sisters feelings through a series of letters they have written to their cousins. The three main characters are the three sisters Sophy, Gorgiana, and the man one them is suppose to marry Mr.Watts. Mary is the first to receive an offer of marriage and in her letter she constantly changes her mind on whether to marry Mr. Watts or not. At first she seems pleased " I am the happiest creature in the world, for I have received an offer of marriage" although it seems more like it's the fact she was asked then who actually asked her because ...read more.

Middle

It is written in the third person and the writer describes the setting well and builds it as a working class setting "the two small chairs that the lounge bar contained on the tattered green or red linoleum. The two main characters in the story are Artie and Teresa. Artie is 28 years old, heavily built and people "occasionally found him slow". Teresa is six years younger than her husband and is described of having a pretty face and pretty black hair. The two fathers of the couple seem not to care about the wedding instead they use it as an excuse to get drunk "they both shared a wish that the bride and groom would soon decide to bring the occasion to an end and had it in mind to stay in Swanton's lounge bar, celebrating in their particular way the union of the children." The families were obviously not very well off "the newly weds had to prepare themselves for their journey to Cork on the half one bus" and "all three of the bridesmaids were attired in their wedding finery, dresses they had feverishly worked on to get finished in time for the wedding." ...read more.

Conclusion

As oppose to Austen's polite society Trevor uses crude and personal language as the characters know each other well and it is a close working class community and so the embarrassment and shame to mother a baby whilst unmarried would be high on her and her family. Trevor, like Austen describes the characters well but uses an observational perspective to narrate the story. Unlike Austen, Trevor seems more sympathetic in his portrayal of Artie and Teresa and describes them as "victims." The characters are more open and have no problem being blunt and using coarse language. Although these are both stories, they do give an insight in to what life may have like at these times and their social comments on marriage and pressure from society are valuable even though their stories may be seen as slightly stereotypical with the over politeness and civility of the upper-middle class English and loud drunkenness of the Irish. Overall I think that both the stories work very well and show that even though the times move on very rapidly, societies ideals are a lot slower to change and there is great pressure on people to live the "normal" life i.e. get an education, get a job, get married, have children, raise them and then retire and live out the remaining few years of your life. ...read more.

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