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    Hi, I've just finished planning essay for my english literature coursework, and I wanted to make sure that my points were clear cut. So can you please check if it makes sense...thanks.

    Essay Planning for English Literature Coursework – 2010

    Essay Question: How far would you agree that Wilde is more sympathetic towards women and their lack of agency than Dickens?
    Introduction: An exploration of Oscar Wilde’s of women in ‘A Women of No Importance’ in comparison to Charles Dickens views of women in ‘Hard Times’, in light of the view that Wilde is overly sympathetic to women and their lack of agency.
    1. Wilde:
    • Mrs Arbuthnot:
    (i) Stands strong with her betrayal
    (ii) Gets an unconventional happy ending
    (iii) Believes in her words
    (iv) Contradicts her faith with her sins

    • Mrs Gradgrind:
    (a) Passive
    (b) Cannot speak her mind
    (c) Dies, but not as a developed character – tragic ending

    2. Wilde:
    • Lady Caroline:
    (a) Lack of agency
    (b) Outspoken
    (c) To mock and convey harsh Victorian morals and standards expected of women in Victorian Society
    (d) Criticism of her vulnerability in losing her husband, thus running after him – women’s insecurities in the Victorian era for their husband

    3. Wilde:
    • Mrs. Allonby:
    (a) Lack of agency
    (b) Clever and outspoken
    (c) Sexually frustrated
    (i) Sticks her nose in others’ business such as
    (ii) Lord Illingworth – challenging him with dares
    (iii) Hester – calling her a puritan and being jealous of her
    (d) Character does not develop however: Wilde is showing how due to circumstances, some women are strained to put on this facade, in order to go through the Victorian Life.

    4. Wilde:
    • Hester: see notes on Hester
    • Rachel:
    (a) Good-hearted and honest
    (b) Loved Stephen Blackpool but he was married
    (c) Nursed Stephen Blackpool’s wife – drunken wife
    (d) Dickens portrays Rachel to be pitied and sympathised with
    (e) Has an almost happy ending, serving others

    Conclusion: Although Dickens has a few female protagonists in his novel that can be sympathised with, Wilde has overly sympathised with the women in his play and their limitations throughout the Victorian society. As well as that, Wilde had given the play an unconventional ending where the last dialogue was given to the female protagonist, Mrs. Arbuthnot.
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