Gender and Social Conflicts From the Works of Austin and Dicken Essay

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  8
Wordcount:  2048 Words
Date:  2022-10-19

The society always determined the way we treat issues of gender and social classes in our society. Throughout history, there have been literature compositions on the two factors on how they have influenced the lives of the people living in different eras. Notably, the works of Jane Austin in Persuasion and Charles Dicken's Great Expectations have delved to address the subjects on gender and social class during the Georgian and Victorian eras by giving the stories of Ann Elliot and Pip respectively. Both stories complement each other by developing "oddball" characters of their periods.

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Looking at two novels from Jane Austen and Charles Dickens we can see that there was tension in the characters especially as they struggled hard to find their place in the society as well as family. These two novels show how the characters struggled to get and be acknowledged in society. In Charles Dicken's novel Great Expectation the character of Pip gets explored whereas Jane Austen's novel, Persuasion discovers the character of Anne.

Great Expectations has the effect of social class that affected the protagonist, Pip and changed his character as seen at the end of the novel. It tells a compelling story of a young man who transforms from rags to riches. The unfolding of events from the start of the novel to the end elucidates a lot of influence on how the character had his identity molded, starting as a casual worker in odd jobs at the age of fifteen and the creation and buildup of a morally upright man. On the other hand, Jane Austen's Persuasion tells us of the story of Anne, a young lady who also faces an identity crisis throughout the book mainly due to her alienated norms in Christian perspectives such her refusal to marry a clergyman in her young age. As a woman, Anne is a burden to her family because she is still a spinster at the age of 28 and the family perceives her negatively. Her two older sisters are cold on her whereas her father does not care about her and says that she is not pretty enough.

These two books are very important to this proposal because they all discuss issues to do with identity. The two cases have shown how gender and social conflicts can influence identity on people. This shows that gender and social class can have big influences on a person's identity and can create a lot of changes regarding identity. The society frowned upon these people and did not have respect for them. Gender and social class were used to determine the worth of somebody in society and often used as tools of disillusioning someone. The two authors, though from two different eras complement each other regarding how they present their issues using the characters.

Inquiries such as reasons for society's marginalization to individuals by their gender and class. Others are the effects of such sidelining with their relationships with society, and how such people beat all the odds form the society to achieve their dreams. All these create a deeper insight into the themes manifested in the characters of the two literal works to identity change at the end of the novel due to this out casting. Of great interest is looking at the reflection upon the inner conflicts that are inherent in the book, the point of view as well as social norms. An example of this marginalization is in the case where Lady Russell advises Anne against marrying Captain Wentworth who is referred to as a commoner due to his lowly placed class in the society (Persuasion 31).

After her persuasion to break her engagement at 19, she remains a spinster to almost an old age with a lonely and unsatisfied life. As a result, her family rejects her that further distresses her. Luckily, after eight of separation with the young man whom she has never forgotten reappears in her life. The naval war has ended, and she at a mature age to make her rightful decision. She marries the suiter of her life and enjoys having not married a clergyman or a landowner as her family and friends would have wished. She is contented in marrying a sailor. Ann is seen to beat all the odds in her life when her dream in marriage gets realized. Despite belonging to a wealthy and Christian family, she does the unexpected to show a journey of toil in the development of her love story. Hers is a story of true love that is not bound to material things but in pursuit of happiness. Despite the rejection in the family she ends in a happy life.

Similarly, the same plot shows the true nature of friends and family. In the beginning, Ann is advised against marrying her suiter by her friend. Her friend misleads her that leads to eight years of an unhappy life. Additionally, due to her refusal to betrothal a prosperous farmer, she faces rejection from the family who should support her in search for happiness. Although the people around her are motivated by conventional ways of following the religious expectations of marrying young and to wealthy people, they are seen to be against her happiness. Her sisters and her father are seen to despise her for due to the decisions in leading a happy life.

In Dickens' novel, we see that Pip was affected by social class and always held loyalty in high regards (Great Expectation, 39). As a lead narrator, he tells of his story from childhood to adulthood. In the development of his story, the character is seen to rise socially and financially in distressful conditions both morally and emotionally. As the story commences, we see a miserable orphan who gets molested by his sister and her husband. Between him and her sister is an age difference of 24 years. Despite her sister acting as his greatest support, she is the greatest nightmare in Pip's life. Her sister is seen to be ineffective in providing moral and social support leading to distress in the young man's life.

As Pip struggles in his life, he becomes a blacksmith, a family known job, until the events unfold to change his life. At the age of eight, he meets a somewhat naughty girl from the riches, and they fall in love despite their differences in social class, a show of true love. Pip also meets Joe who becomes his friend and extends his sincere kindness as a great friend. As the events unfold, in his apprenticeship, a mysterious sponsor enables her way to London to become a decent man. Although he squanders his fortune thinking it belonged to her damsel's guardian and more was on the way, his true benefactor, an old friend, appears. He meets him in debts, and despite the disappointment pays the debts. Pip learns a hard lesson that decent fabrics, appropriate speech, and flashy lifestyles are not the ingredients of creating a gentleman, but good morals and discipline. At some point, Pip falls ill, and Joe stands at his side until recovery. He later comes to meet the girl she had fallen in love with, eleven years later and resolves to reconcile.

The astounding story of Pip depicts the true nature of friendship, a type of endearment coming from the true nature of friendship. Despite Pip's unfortunate encounters in life, he meets true friendships with people who value him. Such friends do not depart him in his dire times of need. Unlike his family who regularly distresses his life, he experiences another form of friendship. He is met by thriving conditions from people whom he meets in life during the lowest times his experiences.

Gender and Social Conflicts

The two novels represent the issue of identity through the eyes of society. The characters, Anne Elliot and Pip, have been portrayed as individuals who had to struggle in society because of the social norms. Anne, a daughter of a nobleman, faces difficulties.

In the Persuasion, the two sisters are not sympathetic to Ann. Additionally, her father cares little about her. The novel tells us that as she grew up, her father found little to admire about her (Persuasion, 3). She was brought up by Lady Russel who had become her only friend. Ann is also seen to be a shy girl who had been isolated psychologically and detached physically. As represented by Austen, Anne is as a quiet and naive girl who did not speak too much in gatherings. Her antisocial character had been shaped from the stressful conditions in her life. At nineteen, she fell in love with Captain Wentworth who was a poor man although the author tells us he was intelligent. Captain Wentworth loved Anne very much, but unfortunately, because of his social class, Anne was persuaded to leave him. According to his father, Wentworth brought a degrading alliance in the family.

On the other hand, Lady Russel also received the news with more tempered and pardonable pride (Persuasion, 13). This shows the aspect of social conflicts regarding the class. The father denied Wentworth because of her social status. Anne allows herself to be manipulated she decision she regrets after Wentworth's departure for France in the war.

In Great Expectations, we see the protagonist, Pip who lived in impoverished Kent, England, a lowly location placed location for the poor class. The events that happened due to social conflicts molded the identity of Pip. Throughout the novel, we come across the situations that in one way or the other had a great impact on Pip's personality in the story as it ends. The development from childhood and the kind of life that he lived were life-changing and were the basis of the development of his character. He grew from an innocent child into a man that was unaware of the society that once he gets a fortune does not reap to its best. The book paints a picture of a poor background and how the struggle that the protagonist underwent before he met friends who changed his life. Pip states that he "...loved Joe perhaps for no better reason than because the dear fellow let me love him" (Great Expectations 41). In this statement, the author implies that Pip had problems in expressing how he felt about the people in his life. Such explains his initial experiences with Estella; the girl whom she thought was naughty since she could openly express her feelings towards him. In the novel, we notice the lack of expression that Pip exhibited and this due to his frustrations in life mixed with the feelings she had for Estella, despite his timidity. This resulted from the social class he belonged in that greatly influenced his character towards a wealthy girl.

Anne is seen to think differently from the rest of the family by crossing the lines to befriend a poor young man. Her family never liked the idea of relating with the lower social class which is seen at the moment she went to visit Mrs. Smith, a poor widow whose husband had left her with a lot of debts at his death. This shows that Anne's father did not love the people from the lower class. Anne went and thanked Mrs. Smith for offering her condolences after her mother passed following the death of her mother. Anne took everybody equally without discriminating on their background. Anne's relationship with Captain Wentworth was made strong because of her kind spirit and intelligence (Persuasion 75). They eventually get married, and Anne decides to take her destiny in her own hands and not leave it to other people to decide it. Anne represents a character of women who have been emancipated and liberated through marriage. She finds a man who adores her and makes happy, unlike the women who gets married after resources in spite of true love.

Great Expectations offers a good and closer way of explaining the meaning of life. Pip learns abundantly about the deeper meaning of life as he advances in age. He also appreciates valuing other people in life despite his stressful upbringing from his sister and her husband. The author uses other characters in Pip's life to show more lessons in the life of a loner.

The people who come in Pip's life provide insights and also exemplify the culture of the Vict...

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