The novel Wuthering Heights is written by Emily Bronte and discusses the social trend on gender relationships that time. Basically, an in depth look on masculinity and femininity has been expressed to be able to define the roles of a man and woman. The story was presented as a recollection of the things that happened between two families, the Earnshaws and Lintons. The story is told by Ellen, the long time housekeeper of one of the families who saw first hand the events that happened between the two households.
The two areas in the setting the Wuthering heights and the Grange represented tension with regards to the social class in society at that time. Wuthering Heights, the residence of the young Cathering and Heathcliff is the representation of wild ideal and freedom from societal conformation while the grange is the representation of social class and propeness. This is the main source of tension that is present between the two symbolic area.
Catherine being wild and impulsive has adhered to social conformation by marrying for convenience and prominence, despite her great love for the character of Heathcliff.The end of the novel sees Heathcliff in a dying phase that seemed to be in a state of joy. His heart which belonged to no one else but Catherine has been wanting to have her ever since their early lives.
Ellen, the housekeeper of Wuthering Heights has observed the decline of Heathcliff during the time Catherine dies. But during his last days, Heathcliff has seemed to have gained something that is unnatural which allowed him to be joyous over his past devastation that almost filled him with uncontrollable despair.
The daughter of Catherine, which he was called Cathy, has been with his son Hareton. They lived in Wuthering heights to be with him up to his last days. A day prior to his death.
The speculation that the ghost of Catherine was constantly present which was likely the cause of his happiness. His usual state of unmoved and unresponsive emotional state was changed due to an unknown cause. Ellen, Hareton and Cathy was at a lost to his sudden energy. That night, Ellen talked to him and was shocked to have heard of his remarks on his feeling of joy that seem to take the life out of him. Ellen accompanied him to sleep. The following morning, Heathcliff’s body was found dead while the window has been smashed, the splinters had hit his body.
Water dripping was all over the room. After the incident, Hareton and Cathy, decided to move to Grange to leave Wuthering Heights and it’s so called ghosts that they believe haunts the grounds. They pass through the grave of Edgar, Catherine and Heathcliff on which they reminiscence on the lives that has been subjected to social pressure and has ended in an unwanted circumstances.
The end of the novel has discussed the implications of the death of the people. Catherine and Heathcliff on their early days, belonged to each other. They represented the life that although is not ideal is lived through impulsive happiness and joy. Edgar on the other hand, represented the properness and conformity to society’s norm. He was opposite to Heathcliff who seemed to be very wild. When Catherine married Edgar, this is her subjection to social pressure. Society has defeated Heathcliff in her love for Catherine due to tradition. Their son and daughter, Hareton and Cathy is the manifestation of the heart’s desire of Heathcliff and Catherine.
Although they did not marry, they continued to be with each other in heart and soul. After their death, Hareton and Cathy were the ones who fulfilled their dream.Everyday Use by Alice Walker is a short story that is presented in first person through the eyes of Mrs. Johnson. They live in the southern part in which he has two daughters, Maggie and Dee. The story deeply discusses the differences between Maggie, who stayed at the south to live her life while Dee pursued education and in self denial of her ethnicity.
The story revolves around the incident when Dee who was sent away to college, returns home to visit her family. Mrs Johnson and Maggie happily accommodate Dee and shows her around the house. But immediately, Dee was back to her old self. She used to dominate Maggie and even her mother. One time, she got mad and burnt her sister who was in dire need of treatment. Fortunately, the local church helped her to raise money for treatment and medication.During her stay, she claimed several of the things in their home. One was that a concern to her mother was a quilt that she intends to give to Maggie for her wedding.
Dee forced her to preserve it and claimed it for herself. She explained that the quilt would be misused by Maggie as an everyday cloth. This would be destroyed and would value to nothing. What she wants to do is to hang it in a museum to have an artistic value. Mrs. Johnson was unable to find the purpose of Dee to be logical since the quilt is used as a cloth not as a decoration.The conflict between Mrs. Johnson and Dee has been evident and ensuing since she came. She left the house after a while. Mrs. Johnson and Maggie saw that nothing had changed with regards to her values. They let her be and they lived happily as Maggie got married to a local yet prosperous farmer.
The novel shows how the two sides of the Author, Alice walker who had a life that mirrors both of Dee and Maggie. As a child, she had an accident that left her physically disfigured. Her early life was been plagued by insecurity and doubt for herself, much like Maggie. Her career progression being educated and has participated in the African civil rights movement show the side of Dee that is educated and expressive of her thoughts. Despite of that, she was able to integrate her heritage and values into her everyday life.
The story “Everyday Use” is just as the title suggests, pertaining to culture and heritage of the people, that is living your roots and ethnicity as an everyday occurrence. Not as a decoration or a remnant. The difference between Dee and Maggie supports this point. Dee was not traditional anymore having her residence on the north, her heritage has been overshadowed by her intellect while Maggie retained her cultural side by staying at the south. Maggie is making everyday use of her culture.
The story also suggests the internal conflict plaguing the other, as she compared her two sides to the daughters of Mrs. Johnson. But in the end, she seeks to transmit the lesson that living a life that is true to one’s self not restrained by social pressure.Grace Paley’s “An interest in life”, the view point of women on man was discussed. It tells the story of Virginia, a wife who was deserted by his husband in joining the army. She was used in many different ways and was deserted afterwards. This occurrence is an everyday happening as men tend to be very irresponsible, cold and insensitive. Inconsideration on the feelings of women are one of the theme in which the story together with other works centered.
The end of the story tells the return of the husband who immediately assumes his gains in the side of marriage. He takes advantage of his wife right then and there. Women’s issues has been discussed particularly on their restrained and repressed rights in which they are abused, used and left almost once in their lives. She tells that women are easily fooled by things such as having a child and nurturing life in which she becomes happy. On the other hand, man must achieve something in the world to become happy. The women being very forgiving and passive of the bad things has been the proponent of the constant abuse done to them.
The short story revelation is written by Flannery O’ Connor. It was a time at her life that she was battling Lupus and used religion to express her gratitude for all the things that happened to her. Hopelessness is not a trap that one would get into without a resolution. It is reversible through the belief in God that everything is just and fair and that problems are ways to strength us.The story is about Ruby Turpin, where in she encounters someone that she thought was sent by God to give a message. Mrs. Turpin went into a clinic were she sat in a receiving area. There she conversed with a couple of people including a pleasant lady with the daughter. They conversed about religion, being proper and thankful to God for giving is everything.
The content of their conversation seemed to have been heard by a woman who reacted inappropriately to their conversation. It seemed that the people around them was affected negatively of what they said. Mrs. Turpin has the characteristic of being proud of having upholding God’s will that she is unable to comprehend the feelings of other people. Due to this, the people in the room felt hostility towards her. The daughter of one of the lady’s even threw a book at her. Screaming go to hell as a hostile exclamation of what she felt. This indicates of her character. The message left a significant taught to Mrs. Turpin as she left for home. That night, she had a dream of souls going into heaven and hers being the last.
The story tells about the wrong perception of people with regards to religion. Some people would use it as a leverage to uphold themselves above others. With Mrs. Turpin, being self absorbed, she considered herself religious and in a good disposition, even proclaiming it to others. In turn, some people who over heard her saying the things she believed in, was put down due to her proud sentiments. God is fair and looking at others in a self righteous way is discriminatory and offensive.
The story “Like a Winding Sheet” written by Anne Petry revolved around the main character Johnson who was abused as he was required to work long hours. His boss was continually seeking to humiliate him which lead him to think of getting back at her by hitting her. But he was restrained due to his belief of morality and ethics. Another women at the coffee shop talked to him with disrespect. He was angered but again, his good part restrained him. Finally, when his wife, Mae bad mouthed him as a nigger, he loose his restrained and finally got violent.
The story indicates the relationship of a man and woman in society. Man is normally considered as dominant in which he should be in charge. In the case of Johnson, he experienced situations in which he felt being inferior to women. The psychology of a man, that is to be in control was constantly bothering him up to a point that he gave in.