From the first few lines of conversation between the Bennets, Austen shows the reader that theirs is not a happy marriage, nor a marriage of equality. Their marriage was based on a need for money and social status not a marriage reached through love or even any such feeling towards one another. As well as it not being a loving relationship, Mr and Mrs Bennet have completely different personalities. Mr Bennet seems to be an intellectual man who likes to sit quietly and read, whereas Mrs Bennet gives the impression of being slightly eccentric and focuses solely on getting her daughters married. Austen tells us that Mr Bennet was “a mixture of quick parts, sarcastic, humour, reserve and caprice”, where Mrs Bennet is “a woman of mean understanding, little information, and uncertain temper”.
On the one hand, Curley’s wife behaves in a way that today would be seen as cheating. She constantly flirted with characters such as George, Lennie and Slim. When George and Lennie first meet Curley’s wife, she makes an excuse that she is searching for Curley. She is then caught out when Slim tells her that Curley had just entered the main house. She wore red, thin dresses to expose her physique which (she believed) would entice the men to come and talk to her; instead it did the complete opposite.
Yet underneath all the glamour, Plath lives a very superficial and fake lifestyle, and she feels there is more to life than writing for a fashion magazine, or attending the elitest parties. Plath uses themes, literary techniques and emotion to convey to the reader her unhappiness with the life she leads. Throughout this prose two of the major themes are death and helplessness. Death being symbolic of change, gives us as readers some insight into what Sylvia Plath is feeling. Helplesness shows us how Plath is struggiling to fit into her lifestyle.
The Imagination in Miss Brill In the short story “Miss Brill,” an old lady spends her Sunday witnessing human beings at the park. Although she is ignored by her surroundings, Miss Brill still seems to persuade herself that she is still important in that even though she is not noticed. She believes that if she was not at the park, the park attendees will still miss her. It’s obvious that she is a lonely person due to her dramatic thoughts and always trying to entertain herself through nonverbal communication between her and her own thoughts. In the beginning of the story, Miss Brill has a conflict between choosing which kind of fur she would like to wear to go to the park on an early Sunday morning.
At several points she is frustrated in her attempts to access educational resources. In one instance she wanders from the gravel path onto the grass at Oxbridge where women are not allowed to walk. She is confronted by a security man who directs her back to the path causing her to lose an idea she had been contemplating. She is prevented from entering the Oxbridge library, again because she is a woman. She then attends a luncheon at Oxbridge and becomes engaged in what she believes to be a “rational” conversation only to be distracted by a Manx cat outside the window.
Looks can be deceiving and I believe this statement plays a great role in this story. The main character, Mathilde, encounters a situation where she feels as though she belongs in a higher class based off her beautiful looks. She is neither wealthy nor comes from a family of wealth but feels as though she deserves as much because of her appearance. Unsatisfied with her lifestyle, Mathilde noticeably expresses her dilemma by complaining to her husband, Monsieur Loisel that she doesn’t want to attend the special event because she has nothing of higher class to wear. Mathilde then borrowed her rich friend Madame Forestier’s necklace, and at that moment, I could already foreshadow something bad to happen.
When we are primarily introduced to her we can sense she may cause trouble among the men. She is described as having “full, rouged lips and wide-spaced eyes, heavily made up” it is clear that she craves attention and the only way she sees she is able to receive it is by acting shamelessly around the men. She is unhappy in her marriage and although she flirts with the other men what she wants is not an affair or a relationship but companionship. Loneliness is a theme often associated with the migrant workers in America during the 1930s, but Curely’s wife is in fact the person who experiences it most. She is the only woman on the ranch, which makes her different from the rest.
Mathilde Loisel, instead of being satisfied with her own pleasures of simple life yearns for the luxuries of the wealthy therefore leading her to a miserable life. Mathilde Loisel is miserable because she yearns for the lush lifestyle of the upper-class which, in reality, she can’t have. She is wedded “to a little clerk in the Ministry of Education” (pg. 221) who is not a rich man but can provide for basic needs. While Mathilde is a person who is never satisfied with what she has, her husband enjoys the simplicity of life.
Behind this representation is the suggestion that Ma sees her qualities but he underestimates her. The boys are totally captivated by her beauty: “she had a glowing complexion and her features were fine, almost noble. Her face possessed an impressive, sensual beauty”. Her level of education is revealed – she is not the typical mountain peasant. When Ma asks her
The story takes place on an autumn afternoon and the local garden “Jandins publiques” in France. Due to her loneliness she imagines she is part of society and that everything that happens in the garden is a play and she is part of it, part of the “Company”. A young couple then comes and sits on the bench Miss Brill is on and after the young boy realises his girlfriend won’t show effect due to her presents he insults her “Why doesn’t she keep her silly old mug at home”. After this incident Miss Brill realises that no one cares about her and she is not part of society. Katherine uses a wide variety of different characters to develop the idea of the loneliness that comes with old age.