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

Extended Essay. How do social class and gender affect the pursuit of happiness in Emily Brontes Wuthering Heights and Charlotte Brontes Jane Eyre?

Extracts from this document...


Robert Quesenberry Extended Essay How do social class and gender affect the pursuit of happiness in Emily Bronte?s Wuthering Heights and Charlotte Bronte?s Jane Eyre? Robert Quesenberry TOK ? 8th Period Word Count: 3,738 Table of Contents 1. Abstract?????????????????..2 2. Introduction????????????????3 3. Setting??????????????????4 4. Character Development???????????.7 5. Symbolism in Spirits????????????.10 6. Reliability of Narrator????????????12 7. Conclusion????????????????.13 8. Works Cited????????????????15 Abstract This essay discusses the affects social class and gender had on the pursuit of happiness in 19th century England. The ideas and values that were accepted back than put limitations on the choices people made. Women and people of lower wealth were often faced with limitations and denial of happiness. In order to consider this topic, this essay will examine the question, how do social class and gender affect the pursuit of happiness in Emily Bronte?s Wuthering Heights and Charlotte Bronte?s Jane Eyre? To answer this question, the novel was examined in four different categories. These aspects were setting, character development, symbolism in spirits, and reliability of the narrators. Each section reflected results that social class and gender had on the path of happiness, and the affects they had on the character. In this I argue that setting and character development cause the limitations social class and gender have, and through symbolism in spirits and reliability we see the affects these had on characters. After comparison and evaluation of these two novels, it was determined that social class and gender were major components in the pursuit of happiness. Characters struggled with limitations put on women and the struggles lower class had. Both gender and class were very influential factors in the paths people take because the time period and accepted ideas stopped some people from getting what their heart truly desired. Word Count: 231 Introduction The pursuit of happiness is something all people seek out. For some it?s money, friendship, or success. But for most people, they find true happiness with love. Love is the defining factor in the lives of many people. ...read more.


Everyone knew that Heathcliff and Catherine were close and had a special bond. But as time goes on, and Catherine meets Edgar, things change. When Catherine and Heathcliff start to drift apart, we see Heathcliff become cold and distant from people. Heathcliff?s distant from Catherine ruined him. He eventually becomes the owner of Wuthering Heights but he?s still not happy because he lost Catherine. The attitude developed by Catherine and Heathcliff show the power love has over an individual. The boundaries between people can cause them to develop personality differences. The effect social class has on the pursuit of love is highlighted in Catherine and Heathcliff?s situation. Watching Heathcliff change over the course of the story is very revealing. Heathcliff in his natural habitat is running around joyfully with Catherine and the effects of losing her devastate him. His development shows how losing love can almost destroy a person. Catherine married Edgar, who was another wealthy individual, and changed her attitude because she knew that?s what was expected of her. Heathcliff pays the price for Catherine giving into society. Heathcliff becomes resentful towards those who arranged Catherine?s marriage to Edgar. He says, ?I'm trying to settle how I shall pay Hindley back. I don't care how long I wait, if I can only do it at last. I hope he will not die before I do!? (E. Bronte, P.69) The concept of giving into societies pressures is an inhibitor of happiness. The idea of women being forced into arrangements was common in this time period. Women were not given the opportunity to strive and become their own person as often as men did. Wuthering Heights uses Catherine to show how the desire to have one thing, or one person, may be overruled by the desires society places on you. Jane?s personality is also shaped by her surroundings. She is at a constant struggle to find herself and keep up her pride. ...read more.


Bronte chooses to make Jane so weary in her honesty because she?s been suppressed all her life. Living at an unloving home and then attending a school that continued to limit her, she is not used to this attention. The relationships between characters are affected because the role they place in society changes the way people see them. Nelly and Jane are both potentially biased in their stories because the role others played in their lives. Conclusion Set in a time and area where the wealthy controlled pretty much everything, the pursuit of love and happiness are often clouded by society?s pressures. It was unheard her of for a wealthy man to fall in love with a servant or for a well-known woman to get married to an orphan. Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre both highlight these problems. Jane, Catherine, and Heathcliff are stopped from being who they want be and who they want to be with because they have a certain reputation. There isn?t much that can be changed about where they stay in society so the characters try to get around it. Heathcliff?s destruction comes from his broken relationship with Catherine and Jane?s pride comes from her past. They both knew where it was they grew up, they knew they didn?t seem to have a chance to be more, and it ultimately lead them on to different paths. Jane tried to show society that she couldn?t be pushed around, and Heathcliff should that he could move up on the social ladder but he was still destroyed by his failed love. Gender and social class were, and possibly still are, issues when trying to find what truly makes you happy. The authors were trying to show the changes that are happening, or what they wanted to happen, to the standards society has set. Through the use of a woman who puts self-identity before love and the conflict between classes, the Bronte sisters are trying to say the societal standards and gender issues are not a justified reason for prohibiting happiness. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge 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 International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge essays

  1. TOK Paper. The dangers of stereotypes, comments on Chimamanda Adichie: The Danger of a ...

    While some episodes were funny, the way they presented India was borderline rude and was offensive to many Indian- American citizens. It didn't go unnoticed by the shows viewers, that the only "smart" guy was the white guy, while all of the Indians were presented as stupid people who needed

  2. Matrix Essay; Red v.s Blue Pil?

    This greatly affects my choice as on top of going into a world that is worse than the one that I am, there is the chance that that one isn't even the "real one", it is just another layer within the Matrix.

  1. The feminism in Jane Eyre

    In the Victorian-era, social status is defined by birth and gender. Being born into a wealthy family will grant an individual the noble status and respect at the peak of the social hierarchy yet gender is still the reality that exists.


    A crude example I can picture is a father seeing his son being dragged to military service due to it being compulsory in their country. He is not only experiencing a sense of dejection that a young boy like his son is forced to experience the possible cruelties of life at such a fragile age.

  1. TOK essay

    develop his own idea, and so making that the most valuable knowledge. A way to show how knowledge that we find most valuable is that of knowledge that can be proven and that has been proven. In Environmental Systems we looked at population, for this subject we looked at the

  2. Tok essay- context is all

    A good example of this is religion because, although all religion is useful for making people behave in a kinder way, they cannot all be true. This further supports the argument that truth is a nonexistent thing but is replaced with untrue, but useful, facts: against Atwood's statement.

  1. Euthanasia . If people express a desire to die peacefully in their old ...

    Watching an elderly man who was once strong and worked at carpentry for a hobby slowly waste away and lose basic motor skills such as walking, being able to make it to the bathroom on time, and eventually not even be able to sit up in a chair without feeling

  2. TOK essay

    Who knows, may be the sky above us is not blue, but purple. On the other hand I have always believed in a slogan ??Until I see and touch I do not believe.? So, from my previous statement I can conclude that seeing is believing.

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