Marriage and Social Acceptance. Essay about Wuthering Heights and Lady Audley's Secret.

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Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro

Instituto de Letras - English and Literature

Research Program - Professor Maria Conceição Monteiro

Anna Katharine Lamellas

Marriage and Social Acceptance

According to Simone de Beauvoir, on her book The Second Sex, the traditional destiny offered by society to women is marriage. This idea already existed before the Victorian period, when the only justification to the women existence was to marry and provide children to society.

While men were socially independent and completely individual, women were not allowed to have an identity of their own, having their lives always controlled: first by their father and then by their husband. They couldn't rise socially without marriage, however if they married outside their social sphere, they weren't accepted by society. Nevertheless, this rule did not apply when a man married outside his social sphere. As long as he had money (even if it was acquired through marriage), a man, as much as the union, were accepted by society.

In this text, it will be discussed the difference between men's and women's social acceptance after marriage inside two novels: Wuthering Heights and Lady Audley's Secret.

Wuthering Heights, written by Emily Brontë, can be said to be another book about a love story, but it is more than that. Wuthering Heights can be described as a book about society's view of whom they consider an outsider and their consideration about love, wilderness and marriage. The story is told by Mr. Lockwood and at the same time it is Nelly's voice who tells the story to Mr. Lockwood, consequently everything that is said is based on their views.

The novel starts with Mr. Lockwood arriving at Wuthering Heights to meet his landlord, Heathcliff, who seems to be a bitter man. After spending one night at his...