Love and Marriage in News of the Engagement, The Unexpected, and Twenty-Six Men and a Girl

Love and Marriage in News of the Engagement, The Unexpected, and Twenty-Six Men and a Girl

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Love and Marriage in News of the Engagement, The Unexpected, and Twenty-Six Men and a Girl

The three short stories I have chosen to compare are "News of the
Engagement", "The Unexpected" and "Twenty-six Men and a Girl". All the
stories were written around 1900 and at this time women were still
viewed as housewives and mothers. Divorce was still socially
unacceptable. Arnold Bennett the writer of "News of the Engagement"
was a journalist who aimed his work at women. He grew up in
Staffordshire in a not particularly well off family. Kate Chopin lived
in New Orland's when she wrote "The Unexpected". Her short stories
were viewed as being quite controversial when they were first written
and were often been refused publication. Maxim Gorky who had a
terrible childhood wrote "Twenty-six Men and a Girl". He ran away at
twelve and lived with the poorest people in society. He worked in a
bakery in Russia, which is the setting of "Twenty-six Men and a Girl".

In "News of the Engagement" Philip does not see his mother as
something that could be loved in a sexual way. Nor that someone could
possibly fall in love with her and she with him. As she is maternal
and her role is to be his cuddly mother waiting for him to arrive home
with open arms.

"My little plump mother".

He assumes that everything she does is for his benefit. Even when
there is a third place set at the table he presumes it is for his
partner not for his mother:

"In some way or another she must have discovered the state of my
desires towards Agnes."

He does not see that she might want to re-marry and get on with her
life. It is obvious Philip considers himself above ...

... middle of paper ... for who you imagine them
to be even if you never really know them. The workers never really
knew Tanya; they built up an image of her in their minds. When their
image was annihilated by her behaviour they were heart broken. They
imagined Tanya as a stereotype virgin goddess. The stereotype was once
again obliterated as it was in the other two short stories.

Each Short Story treats love and marriage in a different way this may
be because of different circumstances. They were all written in
different counties but they are all controversial. "News of the
Engagement" by its view on mothers re-marrying. "The Unexpected" for
its stereotypical role reversal. "Twenty-six men and a girl" as it
questions the need for icons in a poverty stricken life style. In each
story stereotypes of people are followed and then abolished.

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