Once upon a time, there was a girl named Cinderella. She lived with her mean stepmother and two ugly stepsisters, who treated her as their servant. This story could go on, but almost everyone has heard of Cinderella’s story. Many stories, including Cinderella, show differences in social class and how characters are constantly trying to climb the social ladder. Cinderella’s family treats her poorly and shows how orphans are considered to be part of the lower class. Also, the stepsisters attempt to move up the social ladder by doing everything they can in order to marry the prince. By marrying Prince Charming, Cinderella is able to make a dramatic climb to the top of the social ladder. Of course, not every story about social class can be a fairy tale like Cinderella. Wuthering Heights and Pride and Prejudice show the differences in social class by using characterization, marriage, inheritance, and relationships. Many of the ideas used to create the concept of social class in Cinderella are used in both Wuthering Heights and Pride and Prejudice. To develop the concepts previously mentioned, Emily Brontë and Jane Austen often use syntax, diction, and other literary techniques. In Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen spins a tale about the difference in social classes with the use of satire and light-heartedness; at the same time, Emily Brontë explores the differences in social classes with a darker element.
In Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë develops the differences in social class through the use of characterization of diction. Nelly tells Cathy that “…you had made him ashamed of his ignorance, before, I have no doubt; and he wished to remedy it to please you” (Brontë 250). This...
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... proud of having such a husband” (Brontë 78). Although Catherine does not truly love Edgar, she is willing to marry him for his wealth. Cathy and Linton are forced to marry shortly before Linton dies. When Cathy and Linton marry, Linton inherits everything Cathy would inherit in land and fortune. After Linton dies, Heathcliff, his father, inherits everything from him. Through a twisted web of inheritance and death, Heathcliff forces the two to marry so he may inherit everything Cathy owns for his own revenge (Meier 310). Land and fortune are usually inherited from ancestors because most people are denied land ownership to create the distinct barriers between social classes (Newman 318). After all, social status is associated with the possession of land (Newman 318). Inheritance seems to play a vital role in the arrangement of marriages during the nineteenth century.
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