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Looking at the social comments Bennett makes examine his use of language and literary devices to convey his point.

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Introduction

Looking at the social comments Bennett makes examine his use of language and literary devices to convey his point. Arnold Bennett uses his stories to comment on the way of life in society, leaving the reader to question and think about the life he is commenting about; although, he does not convey his message in a critical manner but merely comments on the matters leaving the reader to decide their opinion on the topic. In the opening of 'news of an engagement' Bennett establishes the relationship between Phillip and his mother as being only a dutiful one. This is shown as within the text Phillip states 'I wrote to my mother regularly every week, telling her most of my doings'. This conveys that although Phillip wrote to his mother every week, he only told her 'most of his doings' not actually asking her personal things that a son asks his mother, which implies that by regularly sending her letters telling her most of his 'doings', he was just fulfilling a duty that he has been brought up to fulfil which is to regularly write to his mother, as she is believed to be his responsibility. ...read more.

Middle

brought up in, he has gained the arrogance of being able to believe that he is higher than women and that women to him, are something that must be brought in order to look after or 'keep' them. Bennett stereotypes the arrogance of men in society through the assumptions that Phillip makes about his mother. This is shown as when in the text Phillip comes to know that dinner was set for three; he immediately thought that it was something to do with him, that his fianc´┐Że Agnes was arriving he did not consider the fact that the guest could be for his mother. By presenting Phillip like this, Bennett is suggesting that Phillip is portraying the arrogance of the male in society; However, Phillip can not be blamed for his attitude towards women in society as he was merely acting of the confines of the social rules within the society that he was brought up in at the time. This is shown as at the end of the story, Phillip realises that the arrogance he was brought up with was wrong as when Phillip realises that his mother is engaged, he states 'I had never thought of my mother as a woman with a future.' ...read more.

Conclusion

This is very ironic as at the start of the story Phillip's environment lead him to believe that he couldn't write in a letter to his own mother that he is getting engaged then, in the end, Phillip learned that his mothers' environment also lead her to believe that she couldn't write in a letter to her own son that she is getting engaged, this changed Phillip's views as he realises the irony and the views that his society and environment brought him to believe he admits his mistake by simply stating 'we live and we learn'. Bennett simply comments on society, inferring simple messages such as 'we live and we learn', he does not criticise society through his stories, unlike Charles dickens, who sends highly critical messages across about society through his famous stories such as 'a Christmas carol' and 'Oliver!' . Bennett's stories are inferred comments about social and historical issues and how they are or should change, he explores the upbringing and status of the characters in 'news of an engagement' and implies the change in society after the main character realises the irony of the relationship between him and his mother. ...read more.

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