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How Do The Composers Convey Their Attitudes Towards Cultural Values Associated With The Ways Of Thinking Evident In The Texts?

1366 words - 6 pages

The way perspectives of composers and the cultural paradigms that they are influenced by are of a peculiar and often hidden nature. Through thorough textual analysis, the possibility of revealing these cultural values is enhanced, allowing the observation and appreciation of the how different ways of thinking have developed over time. Cultural values that deal with topics of gender inequalities, racial and social status prejudices and the result of societal dynamic are often hidden in texts from the Victorian Era, and this is absolutely true of Vanity Fair by William Thackeray as well as Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own. The two texts hold many areas of diversification and commonality ...view middle of the document...

Past this is the same idea illustrated through Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, but rather, a perspective taken from a women’s view point somewhat 75 years later in 1924. Woolf chooses to portray the same idea through an extended train of thought to challenge and defy the role of a woman in society and includes a statement from a male character that states “no woman, he said, could possibly be an actress.” As the term ‘actress’ defines as ‘a female actor’, the blatant irony that the use of the word depicts and challenges that women have the ability to create a life, and further – a career – for themselves, and thus portrays the man in a somewhat moronic light. The use of irony sequentially leads to, and achieves, an enlightened view on the issue of a woman’s vital need for a man, and positions the reader to think deeper upon the topic as Woolf has successfully revealed an undeniable truth. The contrast between the attitudes of Woolf and Thackeray are mirrored by the time period they were raised in, in addition to their personal gender perspectives, and this filters through into their compositions to portray and illustrate some very diverse ways of thinking which create varied and similar cultural values.

Supplementary is the idea of white superiority and how it operates in such a way that it suppressed and ruled over all other individuals, and functioned in the same manner as the upper and the working classes. This is especially true in Vanity Fair as Thackeray expresses a more specific racial encompassing thought when it is stated “a black servant… uncurled his bandy legs.” The purposely used terms ‘black’ and ‘bandy’ alliterate to create a connection and hence, a deeper meaning. The word ‘bandy’ holds negative connotations and, through description of the black servant with the use of this term, reveals a certain racial inequality and value of the time period that allows readers to gain a sense of how ways of thinking generate certain attitudes towards cultural values. Woolf expresses the same idea in A Room of One’s Own, however, uses the idea of upper class superiority through the utilization of cumulative listing when she remarks “for genius like Shakespeare’s is not born among labouring, uneducated, servile people.” She directly presents the way of thinking evident in the sixteenth century and the lack of class equality that existed in mainstream society and culture. The way Woolf has chosen to list the characteristics of lower and working classes amplifies the feelings towards the gifts of people that lacked an education or wealth and additionally positions the audience to observe the past cultural values and think about how they have evolved through time. These two ideas expressed in each excerpt are of both a familiar and diverse nature that both deal with major cultural prejudices of pre-eighteenth century values. In comparison of both, revelation of the development and nature of these values reveals the perspectives of individuals of the...

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