• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Divisions of class, gender and race run through the story On The Black Hill. How does Chatwin present these ideas and what does he say about them?

Extracts from this document...


Yr 11 English Lit. Long Essay Emma Bright On The Black Hill Divisions of class, gender and race run through the story On The Black Hill. How does Chatwin present these ideas and what does he say about them? Through the novel On The Black Hill, Bruce Chatwin is able to inadvertably present various issues which divided society. Such divisions of class, gender and race are presented through the text and allow us to interpret the significance of such topics. The subject of class is used in description of a group of people of the same social standing. Gender is in reference to the masculine and feminine traits we display and race is concerned with the nationality and geographic distribution of those concerned. Through actions, attitudes, emotions and words, Chatwin uses the characters as a medium to present his ideas on these three topics. On The Black Hill takes place in the early 20th Century and provides a useful comparison of society's attitudes and stereotypes of the 1900's, with those of today. Class is presented through the comparison of varying social standings of the characters in On The Black Hill. Generally, ones class is determined through behaviour, possessions, education, food and other such things. We are able to see such divisions of class through much the same way within the novel. ...read more.


Mary's actions demonstrate those expected of a woman and wife of those times. "She made cretonne curtains / made a rag rug / her knees covered in crochet-work." (VI, pp. 31) Amos' do the same in refence to the sterotypes of men. "He worked in all weathers - ploughing, fencing, ditching, laying drainage pipes, or building a drystone wall." (VI, pp. 31) Rose Fifield also, to a certain extent, also presents stereotypical qualities of women of the times. Rosie worked as a servant in the Bickerton household, which conveys the typical working duties of females. "While working at Lurkenhope, one of Rosei's duties had been to carry the bathwater upstairs to Reggie Bickerton's bathroom." (XXVI, pp. 133) In such times, there were no opportunities for women to be professionals, but instead were expected to take on jobs as servants or maids or that of a housewife. Rosie however, also challenges the stereotypes of women when we find her being disobedient to Reggie Bickerton. "He asked her to help him into the water. 'I can't', she gasped, and rushed for the safety of the passage." (XXVI, pp. 134) Women were expected to be obedient to men and in this example Rosie goes against the sterotypes of women in the early 19th Century. ...read more.


Generally they arise due to differences of class, gender and also race. Chatwin generally presents these divisions through Mary and Amos, with Mary being representative of higher class, a female and an English woman. Amos however represents a lower, working class Welsh male. The divisions that occur allow us to provide insight into stereotypes of such examples of the time, and how their images were percieved. It shows us how these divisions have occurred, and what happens as a result of them. It provides a contrast between the two sides and also a comparison with such divisions in today's society. Today we find that seperation is still present between different classes, genders and races but perhaps not to the same extent as in the early 19th Century as depicted in On The Black Hill. For instance, today the stereotypes of women is not as extreme as in the past, with women being able to carry professions and aren't not expected to become an obedient housewife. Men are still however generally seen as the provider and protector of the family. Divisions of classes still exist but are not as extreme as they are presented in the novel. Chatwin skillfully entertwines these themes of class, race and gender within the novel, allowing us to see such divisions and stereotypes of the 19th Century, and inadvertably compare it with today. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sociology essays

  1. Chose one area that has been studied in this module (for example age, gender, ...

    One issue that should be addressed with regards to policy and practice is that within each category of migrants, women may have different needs from men, and the young from those who have greater experience in life. Spencer (2002) suggests that '...we need to understand the differing barriers experienced by different groups of migrants.'


    He tells Medea that he "does not intend to take her away with him to Corinth". This makes evident the political view regarding the banishment of foreigners. As she is exiled from one domain of Greece, she has to be snuck into another region, which portrays the unfairness of the society, brought about by the mere issue of race.

  1. The issues of ethnicity and race is so pervasive in our world that they ...

    factors that may be contributing to the lower test scores, such as language differences, living situations, economic status, peer/social interactions, and the varying standards of public schools. The varying standards of public schools, is in my opinion, the biggest contributor.

  2. From your reading, explore the issues of educational inequality either 'race', or 'class' or ...

    Within the report, it looks into the effects of poverty and discusses children's social class and their educational performances. A worrying fact that the government had actually cut public spending by reducing financial aid given for the welfare had a damaging effect in the growth of poverty.

  1. Young people, class and gender

    My role as a youth worker largely focuses on issues experienced by young women, so for the purposes of this essay I feel it is important to concentrate largely on the effect gender divides have upon young females. Based on their own experiences of being a young woman in society,

  2. Wider Reading - Cider with Rosie and Cranford.

    The idea of social order and solidarity is most strongly seen in Cranford when Miss Matty looses all her money. The other ladies of Cranford contribute all they can to set her up as a tea-seller and sweetshop keeper even though these kind and commercial practices would not enable her to survive elsewhere.

  1. Shifting Gender Norms: The Ideal Woman in Story of an African Farm.

    To loosely apply this theory, each of African Farm's women characters must occupy a Bahktinian term: Tant' Sannie as regressive woman of the past, Em as dominant woman remaining in the present moment, and the ahead-of-her time Lyndall as the emergent spirit of woman.

  2. "Choose three texts and discuss their representations of family. Is family a repressive force; ...

    George's son, Will experiences a sense of dis-attachment when he is on the land that rightfully did not belong to them, yet when he is away from it he is inexplicably drawn towards it. Will finally restores the generational guilt that his grandfather imposed when he allows a group of dropouts to occupy the land.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work