Power And Social Class In Past Centuries

774 words - 4 pages

Within the modern day and age, the concept of power is determined by how much money one person has. However during the past centuries, power is determined by which social class one was born into. Some were born into a class that has more power to satisfy their needs and have more than enough to do whatever they want. Others had not so fortunate births and therefore could either have just enough power or insufficient power to fulfill their needs in life. However, power is not determined by a person’s birthright, each gender had an obligation to fulfill depending on their social class. So therefore, the concept of power is ultimately comprised of privileges, abilities, and obligations.
Upon birth to certain segments of society, the newborn would gain certain privileges as they are becoming of age. Fantomina, in Eliza Haywood’s story, plays several roles and utilizes the privileges given to the women of the social classes of Romantic Britain in order to keep her husband satisfied when he thinks he is dating several women. Since these privileges constitutes towards the development of power, Fatomina can accomplish the deeds that is acceptable within one class, but would not be tolerated if the same female within another classes committed the deed in question. Males however, have far more privileges within the earlier societies than their female counterparts due to the high standards that are established upon them.
As one begins to play a role in society, that person would obtain the abilities related to that role, and in return begin to develop power within that social standing. Pushkin’s “The Bronze Horseman” however, depicts Tzar Alexander as a king who does not have the ability to undermine the Neva River flooding the town where Evgeny lives in. Since only nature has the power to control when these natural disasters are triggered, there was nothing the king could do to stop this flood from damaging the Russian town of Petersburg. Fantomina’s husband Beauplaisir can control who he can sleep with because of the superiority males have over the abilities given to him in society. However, Fantomina does not have the same abilities as Beauplaisir due to the high expectations the British society had for women of noble birth and because of these expectations, Fantomina had to change her...

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