Comparison Essay in Victorian Plays

Published: 2021-07-29 09:55:07
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Category: Victorian Era

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Erlynne’s lack of morality -the action of ‘getting’ their husbands away from them is an active one and demonstrates how the women are the immoral ones who are held responsible in an affair -contrast to Duchess Berwick’s advice to take Lord Windermere on a holiday, seem to suggest that society indulges men who are involved in a scandal, by pampering them – not only is there no punishment, taking him on a holiday is a frivolous solution, which demonstrates how society trivializes the immoral crime of men -having something to “amuse” him shows how women must still entertain and please men despite their immorality -the different treatment towards Lord Windermere and Mrs. Erlynne demonstrate the double-standards of society, where they are harsh towards the immoralities of women but easily forgive, or even indulge men| Mrs. Warren’s reason for hiding her profession: -“I daren’t talk about such things: whatever would they think of us! ”-men who are involved in prostition: “some half-drunken fool that think he’s making himself agreeable when he’s teasing and worrying and disgusting a woman so that hardly any money could pay her for putting up with it” Vivie exclaiems: -“When I think of the society that tolerates you, and the laws that protect you! ” | -Mrs.
Warren has had to hide her profession from her daughter and much of society because it would be frowned upon, and the use of the word “daren’t” demonstrates this point as it adds gravity to the situation -it makes it seem as if revealing her situation had grave consequences and therefore, required too much courage which demonstrates how severe society’s judgement would be on prostitutes -the description of the male clients as a ‘half-drunken fool’ portrays these men as people who engage in debauchery which presents them as rather immoral as well -However, people like Crofts who are as responsible for prostitution as Mrs. Warren herself are accepted and welcomed in society -“the laws that protect you” demonstrate how the corrupt behaviour of Crofts is officially accepted into society -George Crofts has been knighted which shows he is regarded with much respect in society, contrasted to Mrs.
Warren who has to hide her profession in fear of judgement from society -the direct contrast between how society views Mrs. Warren and George Crofts demonstrate the double-standards society have towards men and women with regard to their morality -both Mrs. Warren and George Crofts are equally immoral but Crofts is respected in society whereas, Warren will be despised if society knew what she was| Society’s lack of conscience has led to a moral hypocrisy in society| “so many conceited people go about Society pretending to be good” Treatment of Mrs. Erlynne:“to be despised, mocked, abandoned, sneered at- to be an outcast! ” “starve for love and it will not be given to you, beg for love and it will be denied you” The capitalization of Society present society as one single entity that behaves in the same way, therefore, the hypocrisy they engage in is collective -the description of society consisting of conceited people who pretend to be good demonstrate how purity and morality is a mask for these people, yet their arrogance and self-righteousness fails to allow them to see their own hypocrisy -they are vicious in their treatment towards Mrs. Erlynne who is outcasted due to her scandals -her monologue demonstrates the intensity she is despised in society and how harshly she is treated she is not only despised, but ‘mocked’ and ‘sneered at’ demonstrate society’s active participation in tormenting her -The words “starve” and “beg” present Mrs.
Erlynne as someone who is desperate for acceptance, and even lowers herself to get it, yet society intentionally rejects her despite of this, by purposely not giving, and denying her the love she yearns for -this demonstrates how vicious society is in rejecting a desperate woman and reveals their lack of conscience -this lack of conscience also reflects their hypocrisies as the morality of society is merely a pretense, yet their self-righteousness causes them to ostracize other immoral people instead of reflect on themselves| Description of Sir George Crofts: -“clean-shaven bulldog jaws, large flat ears, and thick neck” MP Crofts:“He gets his 22 per cent out of a factory with 600 girls in it, and not one of them getting wages enough to live on” George Crofts’ responses to his actions: “So you don’t think me such a scoundrel now you come to think it over, eh? ” -the features of George Crofts resemble that of an animal, or a dog -this resemblance signifies the resemblance of George Croft to an animal: his savagery and lack of a conscience -His brother, MP Crofts, gets rich out of exploiting young girls -both George Crofts and his brother exploit women but hold high positions, one is knighted while the other an MP which shows that they are respected in society -demonstrates how society condones their actions and indulges them -George Crofts’ response was a rhetorical question which demonstrates how self-righteous he is as he truly believes he is not a bad person -society is hypocritical because it is made up of people like George Crofts and MP Crofts who carry out immoral acts indirectly yet feel no guilt but criticize people like Mrs.
Warren| Morality cannot be clearly defined| “What are called good women may have terrible things in them, mad moods of recklessness, assertion, jealousy, sin. Bad women, as they are termed, may have in them sorrow, repentance, pity, sacrifice” “there is a bitter irony in the way we talk of good and bad women” Lady Windermere believes a good woman’s ideal is Love and “purification is sacrifice” Mrs. Erlynne says “I would have died rather than have crossed your life or his-oh! Died, gladly died! ”| The use of the words “what are called’ and “as they are termed” demonstrate that the categorization of a moral and immoral woman is a superficial construct of society -the ‘bitter irony’ is that Lady Windermere, who was supposedly pure and righteous, became jealous and reckless while Mrs.
Erlynne, the fallen woman, demonstrated the very values Lady Windermere spoke of as being ideals of a good woman -the willingness of Mrs. Erlynne to die to redeem Lady Windermere demonstrates sacrifice and love -therefore, through this irony in the play, Wilde demonstrates the point that people cannot be categorized as moral or immoral so definitely, as they are a mix of both| Vivie states that she would use her intellect and “turn it to very good account” and complained about her achievement as the third wrangler, because “it doesn’t pay” she has caused her mother to “whimper”, to be “stifled in tears” by her aggression Vivie is described by her mother as a “pious, canting, hard, selfish woman” | -Mrs.
Warren is viewed as fallen woman because she commodifies herself -However, Vivie’s constant emphasis on monetary gains demonstrate how she sells her intellect for money, and is also commodifying herself -Vivie’s aggression portray her as a villain as well, whose victim is her mother the fallen woman -The strange string of negative adjectives that follow ‘pious’ demonstrate how her supposed moral uprightness is accompanied by ruthlessness and brutality, which demonstrates the point that the women claimed to be morally upright are in fact as vicious as fallen women -Vivie, the morally upright woman in the play demonstrates heartlessness and selfishness and therefore, as well as commodifying herself, and therefore is no better than her mother, the immoral woman -Shaw similarly demonstrates the point that morality in a person is not definite and a person cannot be wholly moral as demonstrated through Vivie, who displays similar characteristics to her immoral mother|

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