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Analysis Of Louisa May Alcott´S Behind A Mask

1146 words - 5 pages

Behind a Mask is a book that demonstrates the power a woman possesses. During a time in which those who are not rich are considered mere human beings, Louisa May Alcott creates a character by the name of Jean Muir who surpasses the society she lives in. Muir is a woman who seeks to have a prestigious title that will give her the recognition she desires. As governess to the Coventry family Muir puts in play a plan to marry Sir John, the old uncle in the family, whose title she wants. In the process of getting sir John’s tittle Jean causes controversy in between the family which results as a positive thing for the family as a whole. While stepping over the boundaries set by her society, Muir ...view middle of the document...

There are several instances throughout the book where Muir warns Gerald, and as head of the household it is his responsibility to lookout for the well-being of his family. It is Muir’s intentions for Gerald to become attracted to her, but when she sees him gaining interest towards her she warns him by saying, “think of me what you will, but beware of me in time, for against my will I may do you harm” (45). Muir’s priority is not to cause Gerald or anyone any harm, he is simply a bystander who is mesmerized by the woman he thinks she is. Gerald chooses to ignore Muir’s warning rather than take it seriously, thus she cannot be blamed for the bad choice he makes.
In the eyes of the Coventry family Muir is mere governess, undignified of their prestigious title, and yet she proves them all wrong. During her stay with the Coventry family she manages to win everyone over, including Gerald, who had the least bit of interest in her at first. Because of her social standard Muir has a disadvantage in life, keeping her from being the recognized and respected woman she desires to be. But like all protagonists, Muir overcomes the obstacle which is her society. By using her skills to her advantage she manages to have the well-respected men in the family fall in love with her, which is saying a lot, especially from Gerald’s part. Muir wins Ned over through her bravery by taming his rather wild horse, Sir John is captivated through her ability to read, and Gerald becomes intrigued with her attitude towards him. It is a great accomplishment from Muir’s part to have Gerald’s love, but it is an even greater accomplishment that his love is hers and not Lucia’s, Gerald’s cousin who he was betrothed to. It is clear that Muir is defying her society when Gerald says “I cannot love my cousin, because I love you” (74) and it is made clear that Muir has defied her society when Sir John refers to her as “lady Coventry” (103).
Muir never meant to cause the Coventry family any harm, and it is shown at the end...

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