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To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee and An Imaginative Woman, from Thomas Hardy’s selection of Short Stories

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Introduction

CSW GCSE English Literature Wider Reading Texts: To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee An Imaginative Woman, from Thomas Hardy's selection of Short Stories To some extent, the characters in both stories seem to be ruled by fixed ideas, prejudices and limited social values and attitudes. Explain and compare how each writer deals with this aspect. You might like to consider social context and values, time, plot, style and language, as well as the characters themselves. TKAMB and An Imaginative Woman are stories whose plot revolves around the idea of prejudices, social status and the attitudes of the era in which they are based. Both texts deal with these issues but in slightly different ways, because An Imaginative Woman is a short story, there isn't enough space to cover prejudices of all the characters in detail but because TKAMB is a novel, over the story although maybe not directly, the characters, personalities and viewpoints are developed until you can form an fairly solid idea of what they believed in and what they were like. For example, TKAMB is set in the 1920's and 30's at which time the prejudice of whites against blacks was very apparent even though slavery had been abolished years before the blacks we're treated as second class citizens. This is a main factor of the plot and as Scout (Jean Louise Finch) ...read more.

Middle

social ideas as prejudice, even thought this may be because they were openly and socially acceptable at the time and unlike TKAMB, An Imaginative Woman is not set in a time of change, such as black rights movements and female liberation movements where people became widely familiar with, and accepted prejudice was happening. In TKAMB many people who are examples of different castes in society, Aunt Alexandra being one of them "...Aunt Alexandra was one of the last of her kind; she had a river boat, boarding school manners; let any moral come along and she would uphold it...." Aunt Alexandra is fixed into society by morals and personal standards that she considers to be very high and this makes herself seem to be upper class society, but she will still gossip "She was and incurable gossip" and will still dabble in what would seem to be a lower class of society. You also have examples of people who in contrast are of a lower caste of society for example, the Cunninghams who appear to have no money because they are farmers and when the economic crash happened in America it hit them the hardest "The Cunningham's never took anything off of anybody, they get along on what they have, they don't have much but they get along on it." When Jem tries to describe the caste system of Maycomb towards the end of the book the social attitudes of the time are very apparent "There's four kinds of folk in the world. ...read more.

Conclusion

more in the story line, An Imaginative Woman is written from the third person viewpoint and is as such an account rather than a personal experience, you are distanced from the plot and personal beliefs are left for you to decide. The stories differ again, TKAMB is a novel and therefore has more room to describe and show the ideas of the time, whereas An Imaginative Woman is a short story and does not develop as much. The language differs as TKAMB is set in 1920's/30's America and the "Deep Southern" American colloquial style of speech the text is perhaps more easily interpreted as it is not complex language, the terms used are more up to date and understood today. An Imaginative Woman is written in early modern English and some of the terms are very outdated and hard to comprehend without further help from dictionaries or thesauruses this makes it harder to pick points from it and to see the prejudice or social attitudes. I have explained about the social attitudes and how they govern people within the stories and I think that this is very important to both stories plots, it helps shape the people and gives you a good idea of what life was like at the time, both stories end tragically in someway or another and I believe this is a deliberate move by both authors to suggest that prejudice and ism's (sexism, racism etc) are in the end tragic. ...read more.

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