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Discuss and compare these stories from different centuries portray marriage and the relationship between men and women.

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Introduction

GCSE Coursework - Wide Reading Discuss and compare these stories from different centuries portray marriage and the relationship between men and women In this section we ask the question "How is marriage portrayed as a fa�ade and pretence?" There are huge traces of this in both 'Teresa's wedding' and 'The Three Sisters'. Mary Stanhope is the chief culprit of this in the first section of 'The Three Sisters'. She is very much undecided as to whether she wants to marry him or not and yet she states that he is 'very plain, so plain that I can not bear to look at him'. If this is so and she cannot bear to look at him then why is she thinking about marring him? She should be already decided. Marriage is supposed to be a truthful bind, but one of the biggest things which show that this proposed marriage is a fa�ade is the frequent references to the threat of what is going to happen if Mary refuses Mr. Watts. Mary says "If refuse him, he has as good as told me that he should offer himself to Sophia." ...read more.

Middle

her background and probably something to do with the historical setting of the story being the 1960's, she doesn't realize that looks do not last forever and that it is not the only reason why people get married or love each other. There are a lot of social expectations in these two stories which happen to make the two marriages seem very much like a considerable compromise, even in this day and age. In 'The Three Sisters' there are some social expectations which have somewhat disappeared from these parts of the world. For example though some elder sisters may obviously prefer to be married before a sister much younger gets married, it would not be considered a complete embarrassment for this to happen to someone. However in Mary Stanhope's case this would be a complete debacle and nightmare to be married after her younger sisters, and she would even consider the whole thing an accomplishment if she was to get married before her two sisters. This is not an issue something which you get much any more in eastern European societies today. ...read more.

Conclusion

This shows the social expectations and values which existed in this part of the world in the 1960's. What also shows this is another comment which is this time passed by Agnes. She also has the wrong idea about marriage and echoes the beliefs of everyone in her society when she talks about it being disgusting who Teresa was marring and at what age she says "Sickens you, she's only a kid marring a goop like that. She'll be stuck in this Dump of a town for ever." This proves that her whole idea of a successful choice of husband for a woman is to find him at a mature age and for him to be very capable and sharp who can get you to bigger places in this world than 'this dump of a town'. Of course she is referring to her hometown which she obviously does not appreciate and sees marriage to a proficient man as her ticket out. She may also feel that anyone who does not at least make an attempt to achieve this task of choosing a competent man that can take her away, is very stupid and as she described it 'Sickens you'. ...read more.

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