Compare How Male Female Relationships in Two of the Following Emma, Wuthering Heights and Great Expectations-- Reflect the Mores and Values of Victorian Society Essay

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Suesann Sankar

Individual Assignment: Critical Essay-
Compare how male female relationships in two of the following Emma, Wuthering Heights and Great Expectations-- reflect the mores and values of Victorian society

“The Victorian period formally begins in 1837 (the year Victoria became Queen) and ends in 1901 (the year of her death)” (Kirschen). British novels such as Wuthering Heights and Emma reflect and uphold mores and values of the Victorian society. This is portrayed through the characters in the novels where high priority is given to the male female relationships and the expectations of society. The time frame of both novels differs by thirty two (32) years which will reflect in the way both authors, Jane Austen and Emily
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According to the Victorian age “when a woman married she had no independent legal status”, and this included no claims to her children and she had to adhere to her husband’s location anywhere, anytime. In Wuthering Heights Mr. Earnshaw brought Healthcliff a strange gipsy looking child into the family. Mrs. Earnshaw “was ready to fling it out of the doors” and despite her pleas of retuning the child from wherever it came from, she had to obey her husband’s order and keep the child as a part of the family. The Victorian age also led women to the notion of dreaming to be married to someone of wealth and a male who was able to provide materially, financially and physically. An example of this can be seen through Catherine in the novel Wuthering Heights. When she was asked if she loved Edgar enough to marry him, she replied by saying, “And he will be rich, and I shall like to be the greatest woman of the neighborhood, and I shall be proud of having such a husband” (pg. 87).This shows how the Victorian women depended on gaining respect, wealth and a home from a male.Another example of the male dominance over the female is Healthcliff’s marriage to Isabella. Isabella firstly, fantasized with the notions of belonging to Healthcliff. However, after the wedding she realizes that Healthcliff does not love her but he controls her since she becomes his source of gaining access to the Linton’s wealth. Both Catherine and Isabella however, do not