Stamford University Bangladesh Topic: Treatment of Female Characters in Pride and Prejudice, Great Expectations, The Scarlet Letter, and The Return of the Native. Course Title : Undergraduate Research Course code : ENGL-490 Course Teacher: Prof. Syed Anwarul Haq Submitted By : Marufa Akther. Id:03705884 Batch : 37th Abstract English novels deal with female characters in a very magnificent way. Different writers treat female characters in a differently way. In the ancient world literacy was severely limited, and the majority of those who could write were male.
After 1660 there is a wide range of female representation in the literature of the era. Prose narrative emerged in the 18th century novel as dominant literary form, and with it a much more nuanced portrayal of women. Women novelists soon followed. For example, Jane Austen depicted life and society from a woman’s perspective. Women in Dickens have been seen as stereotypes: simple, strong and rebellious. In American literature, we see Nathaniel Hawthorne presents women as strong and independent (though sometimes morally repugnant). And Thomas Hardy presents the rustic but strong female haracter. As Jane Austen is a productive writer and female figures seem to be the core of her novels such as Pride and Prejudice (1813), and Sense and Sensibility (1811). The novel Pride and Prejudice (1813) is the primary material used in this study and three female characters including Elizabeth Bennet, Mrs Bennet and Charlotte Lucas will be chosen as research objects. These three female characters are representative. Elizabeth Bennet is chosen for her identity as the heroine and Mrs Bennet’s for her impressive image as a traditional nagging, emotional oman. As for Charlotte Lucas, she is out of the Bennet family and it ensures the variability of samples. In addition, she is Elizabeth’s best friend and it is interesting to make comparison between their qualities. Like most Victorians, Charles Dickens believed that a woman should be ‘the angel of the house’, devoting her life to housekeeping and child rearing. Many women rebels, seeking professional training and careers, especially they are realistic. Typical of England in the 19th Century the Victorian woman was meant to show class.
In Great Expectations we see Mrs. Havisham and Estella, takes a very different view suggesting they are of an upper class and more typical of the expected Victorian woman. Hawthorne, the American writer never viewed women as unimportant or as threatening character, but, rather, as men’s vital, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual partners.. His novel, The Scarlet Letter follows several strong women in an era when women were expected to be subordinate to their male counterparts. Hester Prynne is willing to take on her own shame while protecting the man she oves from his share of the public condemnation. She keeps his secret faithfully, for seven long years. Even when she might have been able to demand his help, she does not seek it. Alternatively, the two men in Hester’s life, her husband and her lover, are cowards and hypocrites, unwilling to reveal their true identities. In the field of characterization, Hardy’s talent, as compared with that of some great novelists, is narrow. His memorable characters all have a family likeness, but there is no doubt bout the realistic quality of Hardy’s female character. The Return of the Native contains some of Hardy’s greatest characters, notably Eustacia and Thomasin. Her rebellious nature and force of will are for what Hardy calls her, “the raw material of the divinity”.. Her selfishness, her charms and beauty, her uncontrolled passions do not blind us to her celestial imperiousness . Another character Thomasin, who is a simple and strong women. She wins our mind by her subtle and witty manner.