Impact of Family, Gender, and Education on Wutheri
ng Heights Wuthering Heights EssaysImpact of Family, Gender, and Education on Wuthering Heights
Education of the 18th and 19th century connects closely to the gender association of this period. Men from wealthy families were the only persons provided the opportunity to be educated at the university level. Just as many men use golf to prove their status and superiority today, these gentlemen pursued cricket and rugby. Another similarity with society today involves the importance of personal connections to further your education possibilities and business opportunities.
Social standing was extremely important during this time. “Manners, money, birth, occupation and leisure time were crucial indicators of social standing, determining not only one’s place in society but one’s freedom to act, speak, learn, and earn” (Longman p. 1886). Some interesting factors that determined this status, which I personally would love to see more of today, are loyalty, duty and public service. Instead of the elite being chosen by birth, ability and learning became the criteria for administration of society.
Frances Cobbe described the boarding school that she attended as a young girl. The tuition cost was 25 times what Charlotte Bronte earned in 1841 (Longman p.1888). Cobbe describes the importance of women from well to do families at this time to be beautiful, and occupied with knitting and gossiping. Intelligence and accomplishments were not pursuits allowed to women.
Charlotte Bronte described one of the few occupations permitted women at this time in her book Jane Eyre. As stated previously the income received for such grueling work was one twenty fifth the tuition of Cobbe’s tuition for boarding school. She also describes the thankless occupation, of governess, she held in a letter to her sister Emily. The children were constantly her companions, the mother desired to distance herself from Charlotte except for the menacing looks she flashed when Charlotte attempted to require manners of the children, and the piling of endless work upon Charlotte (Longman p. 1895).