Consider the presentation of the two main characters Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 15:06:56
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Consider the presentation of the two main characters. What are Austin and Trevor telling us about the pressure on women in the past and present?

Jane Austin wrote The Three Sisters in the 19th century. Jane Austin lived in a mercenary world, and she reflects this in her novels. No secret is made of the need to marry for money. Jane Austin believed that for marriage to work, people must have the same interests.

The Three Sisters is about a woman called Mary. She has been proposed to by Mr Watts. He is older than her but she decides to marry him for his wealth and money. She also wants to get married before any of her sisters and the Duttons. However she fears her life will be miserable if she chooses to accept Mr Watts proposal.

William Trevor wrote Teresas Wedding around the 1970s. William Trevor was born into a protestant family and brought up in a Catholic society. When troubles started to break out in Northern Ireland, William Trevor moved to England but he frequently visited Ireland.

Teresas Wedding is also about marriage. The story starts off at the party after the wedding. Teresa has also married for convenience because she is pregnant.

Both stories deal with loveless marriages and in both stories the women have little control over their lives. They are both under pressure to marry men they do not love.

In Teresas Wedding marriage is seen as a means of escape from a grim community, a place of loneliness and frustration. In The Three Sisters marriage is seen as the only possible fulfilment for a woman.

Mary is the eldest of the sisters. She has had her first offer of marriage, but she doesnt know how to value it. She wants to be the first to be married, she does not want to marry Mr Watts but she wants to get married before Georgiana and Sophy. She knows that if she turns down the offer, Mr Watts shall ask either one of the sisters, and following the traditional conventions of the time she is expected to marry before her younger sisters. Mary appears to be very confused one moment she says

I shall have him and the next

I hate him more than anything else in the world

Austin writes about her own class, the upper middle class, and is very critical about their lifestyles and social behaviour, creating very amusing characters and describing them with crony. She makes a mockery of their snobbish behaviour. She describes Mary as a childish and self-centred girl, who likes to boast and often makes herself look ridiculous in front of others.

Teresa is a woman who has just married to a man called Artie Cornish. Teresa had a round, pretty face and black, pretty hair, and was a month and a half pregnant. Teresa is a kind and friendly girl. She is calm, even though she is faced with the situation of admitting to Artie, her husband, on her wedding day that she had been in the field with his friend Screw Doyle.

She shows maturity in her optimism about her future, believing that she and Artie might make some kind of marriage together

Trevor uses third person narrative in his story, everything is described in detail, we almost feel part of the festivities. However, he does not write about the characters thoughts and feelings.

Austins story is written in first person narrative, in letter form. This helps us to understand the characters fully.

In the two stories the women receive pressure from the society they live in. Teresa also receives pressure from the local priest Father Hogan, who shows very little feelings for her when she confesses that she does not love Artie under the circumstances that line of talk is irrelevant

Mary receives pressure also from her mother who is determined not to let this opportunity escape of settling one my daughters so advantageously

I think it is a lot easier to get married in modern society because we have no restrictions in who we choose to marry. We also do not have our parents choose who we marry, so there is no excuse for marrying some one who you do not love.

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