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England's Hierarchal Rule Essay

1863 words - 8 pages

In the 18th century wealthy white men ruled England. The upper class men ruled society, and married for a woman’s reputation and her dowry. Marriage is a business arrangement and women have to maintain an upstanding reputation. Hogarth’s engravings depict the roles that gender and class plays in society. The more money you have, the less freedom you have especially for women. In Hogarth’s The Harlot’s Progress and at Four Times a Day you can see the differences in gender and class. In Beer Street and Gin Lane you see the connection of wealth and opportunities, and in the engraving Before and After you see how women were not given choices; instead, women had decisions thrust upon them. These ...view middle of the document...

Society would talk about Moll’s loose ways, but they would not punish the man for taking part in these interactions. They would rather damn the women and blame them for tricking men into having relations with them. As she progresses in the images she looks worse with spots on her face and tattered clothing. In the third image it shows men coming in to arrest Moll, but her chest is open and her curtains to her bed are opened showing she will overcome this. Unfortunately in the fourth image she is working where a sign reads, “Better to Work than Stand thus.” This saying applies to women in society. Women of lower class have to work to survive, and giving the lack of education and opportunities for women many have to sell their bodies to survive. In image four her estate looks rather run down and she becomes very ill. She is on the verge of dying and people in the room are fighting or stealing. At the end of the day she was a prostitute who became ill possibly from sexually transmitted diseases. She later dies while her child isn’t acknowledging her illness. When she passes her funeral is more of a party where a girl looks into the casket and sees her future. This engraving shows the difference in classes and options for women. Since she was able to make her own choices when she came to the city she was with the lower class and used her body to make her money. She had less options for jobs and made her living on what she had been taught coming to the city. She did not have to worry about her reputation as a lower class woman, and was able to make her own choices to be a prostitute. While other women of an upper class status were forced into unwanted marriages, some lower class women were forced into undesirable situations in order to survive.

In Four Times a Day it shows how rich and poor societies interact with one another. In the first scene, it shows how the rich woman is walking with her nose up to the poor people in the picture. There are drunks in the back crowding the tavern on this gloomy morning. Men with wigs are kissing women in the streets while being indecent in front of homeless people struggling for warmth. The drunks are probably lower class while the groping men look middle class, but they are both trying to get their fix for the morning. The wealthy look down on the lower class people, but their humanistic nature is very similar. At noon we see the wealthy, leaving the church in their best dress attire, and some having a depressed emotionless look upon their face. There is a line in the street with a dead cat separating the two. Across the street you see a woman letting her pie leak onto the ground and a crying boy scratching his head due to lice. On one side you have the lower class happy and showing public displays of affection, and on the other side you see a wealthy couple with a young boy as well showing public displays of affection. The difference between the two is the lower class couple feel free to be more intimate...

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