Women in Pre-1914 Prose
I am going to show different aspects of women as them being victims,
villains and heroes, all throughout the stories.
Writers in the 19th Century were writing to a small portion of the
audience, as few of them during the time were literate.
19th Century stories were published for many different reasons from
today. They wrote to be famous and wrote to make money; these are the
same reasons as writing today.
But keeping in mind, unlike today, where entertainment is the main
The main principle difference between 19th Century and 20th Century
writers is that, 19th Century writers would use 20 words, where as
today they'd use just one. They did this mostly to show off their
language skills, to show that they were clever than everyone else,
therefore, their flowery descriptions makes it difficult for the
reader to follow the storyline as there is so much description.
Many 19th Century writers use a Gothic background.
A gothic novel is thought to be a novel of horrors and mysteries and
its plot is always bound up with secret murders.
The action mostly is taken in Castles, monasteries, or an abbey with
forbidden rooms, which are kept locked, near long narrow passageways.
This makes the atmosphere be witch crafty, have predictions and also
moaning and howling of the wind with ghosts, near a cemetery.
The main characters in the stories include a young man, women, and the
presence of evil.
During a gothic novel heroes fight with villains and seek a solution
to a problem.
Find info on gothic background, rmemba.
Dickens wrote his novels to entertain, but also to preach the message
of social reform to the rich and the educated, so that they would do
something to improve life for the poor.
The first story I am going to talk about is "Captain Murderer".
"Captain Murderer" was retold by Charles Dickens (in 1861), he did not
originate it. His Nurse told this story, and he tried to rebuild it
for the reader. The terror it caused him as a young boy
"Dickens recalls his own early reading, and in particular the memory
of the stories told him in childhood by the family's nursemaid, Mercy"
The structure of the story is familiar to us all. It is a folk tale,
or a fairy story using fantasy and repetition.
The name Captain Murderer identifies the villain from the start, and
obviously, we can tell that his young brides are the victims. We are
not meant to take the tail as a true one. The whole purpose of the
story is to entertain with a macabre, exaggerated, nasty, sense of
story. A macabre type of humour, the in excess sense of exaggeration
of a golden rolling pin, and a silver pie dish, is in contrast with
the cannibalism of the story. Captain Murderer is a gross character,
like blue beard, or the giant in popular fairy stories....