The Practice Of Enforced Conformity English Literature Essay

Category: English Literature
Last Updated: 17 Oct 2022
Essay type: Conformity
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The end of this drawn-out essay is to oppugn the pattern of implemented conformance within the societies depicted by Edith Wharton 's The Age of Innocence and Mark Twain 's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. This paper encompasses the two plants which compare the differences between the social facets of conformance within Twain 's Southern provinces of pre-civil war America and Wharton 's post-civil war New York. Both writers use the position of their several supporters to reflect on and knock the biass and values of these societies.

In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain uses the cardinal character of Huck to foreground society 's lip service and the manner that faith and morality stifle individuality and free-spiritedness. Huck is invariably indicating out the manner that persons believe themselves to be devout and morally unsloped but, in fact, are by and large hypocritical and dishonest. One of Twain 's chief onslaughts is directed against the system of bondage in concurrence with the stereotyping of Negroes at this clip. Huck 's voice is used to foreground the unfairness of this system, although, being a merchandise of this society, he besides expresses some of the biass he has learnt. Other characters, such as Jim and Pap, are included to research this subject farther. Puting, imagination and a humourous tone aid to reenforce Twain 's review.

Wharton uses similar devices to reprobate New York society in late 19th century. Unlike the boylike artlessness of Huck, Wharton 's supporter, Newland Archer, is misanthropic and can see rather clearly the mistakes in his community. It is suggested that he would wish to interrupt out of conventional behavior, but does non hold the bravery. Other characters, such as May and Ellen, are used to foreground the harm that the insisting on conformance causes to persons. Wharton besides draws to her readers ' attending, the patriarchal nature of this society, its focal point on philistinism, and refusal to alter. Like Twain, Wharton uses symbolism, particularly that of flowers and costume, every bit good as elusive sarcasm, to foreground her observations.

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Word Count: 330 words


One major facet of human nature is the bias against those who reject social norms. It seems inevitable that the bulk is prejudiced against those who refuse to conform, in order to keep societal stableness and do certain everybody upholds the values that most people portion. There are many different sorts of bias but the chief focal point of two American novels, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn ( 1884 ) , by Mark Twain, and Edith Wharton 's The Age of Innocence ( 1918 ) , trade with prejudice against non-conformists. These authors use a assortment of devices to place readers to be hostile towards such values and conventionality. Couple utilises the supporter, Huckleberry Finn, every bit good as a overplus of secondary characters, such as Pap and Jim, to foreground the unfairness of the bondage system which operated before the civil war. Furthermore, Twain besides critiques the lip service of most people, who claim to take the moral high land, but are, in fact, merely holier-than-thou. In this text, imagination and sarcasm are used to convey the author 's strong message. Wharton employs similar techniques. The supporter, Newland Archer, is portrayed as a coward. He is to the full cognizant of the absurdnesss of his society 's insisting on conformance, but can non interrupt off, taking to the calamity of his by and large unrealized life. Minor characters, including Ellen and May, reinforce this major subject every bit good as Wharton 's onslaught on the patriarchal nature of her surroundings, and fright of alteration. Like Twain, Wharton weaves into her text, a strong sense of sarcasm and drawn-out imagination. Thus the two texts are really similar in manner and construction, although they deal with really different societies and conventions.

The Age of Innocence is set in upper-class New York society in post-civil war America. In this surroundings, people are really proud of their community 's accomplishments and reject alteration, which they perceive will endanger the position quo, richness and civilization. Wharton suggests that persons are raised in a civilization that is already to the full established with complex sets of values and categorizations, regulations and prohibitions. The bulk accepts these codifications as normal and natural. Having mastered the complexnesss of the civilization, life is conducted in the channels provided by that civilization. Hence, when anyone attempts alteration or stairss out of these well-worn waies, he or she is rounded upon, condemned and finally rejected. New York in the late 19th century is besides stiffly patriarchal and adult females must be cosmetic, supportive and economically dependent on work forces. In contrast, The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn is set before the civil war in America 's Deep South, specifically along the Mississippi River. Unlike New York, the chief bias here is racial. Most Whites support bondage and are dying to maintain Negroes in their topographic point, for fright that they will accomplish equality and hence overthrow the high quality of the Whites. This society besides prides itself on its moral virtuousnesss and is determined to coerce everyone to conform to the spiritual conventions.

Edith Wharton uses a assortment of methods to reprobate New York 's society 's snobbism and fright of alteration. The supporter, Newland Archer, is Wharton 's chief device. In the first chapter, it is rapidly established that he conforms to societal norms, as readers learn that, `` what was or what was non `` the thing '' played a portion as of import in Newland 's New York. '' ( Wharton, 1918: 4 ) However, Newland likes to believe of himself as a non-conformist and feels that he is the `` clearly the higher-up of these chosen specimens of old New York '' . ( Wharton, 1918:7 ) Mutely, he mocks those whom he sees as slaves to conventionality. Assorted incidents are used to foreground Newland 's disdain. He is frustrated by May 's deficiency of independent action when she refuses to run off with him and comes to see her as `` a terrific merchandise of the societal system he belonged to '' ( Wharton, 1918:35 ) . He is unimpressed with May and fascinated by Ellen 's exoticness, symbolised by his reaction to her unconventional house, where he felt the lamps imposed a `` bleached shadowy appeal of a room unlike any room he had known '' . ( Wharton, 1918:57 ) Another symbol of Newland 's flirting with the out danger of the unconventional is the type of flowers he gives to the two adult females in his life, giving flowers was non merely a manner to show wealth, but besides a manner to pass on elusive messages. During his battle with May, Newland sends lilies-of-the-valley to her `` every forenoon on the minute '' ( Wharton, 1918:65 ) , while it is traditionally given as a marrying flower to stand for a `` return of felicity '' , it besides symbolises artlessness and celibacy ( Gwen ) . The supporter sees May as being naA?ve and guiltless as the white flowers he gives her suggest. However, during Newland 's first visit to Ellen Olenska 's place, he gives her a corsage of yellow roses which the supporter 's thought `` there was something excessively rich, excessively strong, in their ardent beauty. '' ( Wharton, 1918:65 ) as `` he had ne'er seen any as sun-golden before '' ( Wharton, 1918:65 ) therefore Wharton, suggests that like flowers reflects on the receiving system 's personality and hence the xanthous flowers symbolise green-eyed monster, unfaithfulness and exoticness.

Yet, faced with the chance to arise, he lacks the bravery. Rather than contending against society 's positions on divorce, he volitionally gives in and decides non to follow her, even though he feels `` an ceaseless indefinable craving '' ( Wharton, 1918:183 ) for Ellen. The writer farther high spots Newland 's cowardliness and apathy by saying that he `` instinctively felt that in this regard it would be troublesomeaˆ¦to stick out for himself. '' ( Wharton 1918:7 ) Newland 's unwillingness non to conform is farther extrapolated when he pays lip service to democratic rules, but one time married, reassumes his earlier conventional, patronizing attitude to May 's `` artlessness '' ( Wharton 1918:119 ) , with the premise that it `` seals the head against imaginativeness and the bosom against experience! `` ( Wharton, 1918:119 ) . Even when he subsequently admits to Ellen that his matrimony is a `` fake '' ( Wharton, 1918:199 ) , he blames her for his quandary stating `` You gave me my first glance of a existent lifeaˆ¦ it 's beyond human digesting '' ( Wharton, 1918: 199 ) . Wharton 's oppressing unfavorable judgment of Newland culminates in the concluding pages. The clip is now 30 old ages subsequently and society is radically different. Old snobbisms have been abandoned and he realises that May ever knew about his relationship with Ellen. Yet, now there is `` no ground for his go oning in the same modus operandi '' ( Wharton, 1918:289 ) and he has a opportunity of freedom, he is still `` held fast by wont '' ( Wharton 1918:290 ) and `` saw into what a deep rut he had sunk. '' ( Wharton, 1918:290 ) Indeed Newland has non changed at all ; he is still torn between the feeling that he should prosecute in `` new things '' . ( Wharton, 1918:290 ) He is good cognizant that now `` Cipher was shockable adequate '' ( Wharton, 1918:290 ) to worry about past injudiciousnesss. However, the supporter still lacks bravery to be true to himself. He seems frozen by inactiveness, highlighted by his failure to see Ellen 's flat, as he thinks `` it 's more existent to me here if I went up '' ( Wharton, 1918:298 ) . Wharton shows how Newland continues at war within himself as he `` all of a sudden heard himself state '' . ( Wharton, 1918:298 ) these words. Therefore as the terminal, when he `` walked back entirely '' ( Wharton, 1918:298 ) , readers understand the otiose chances of Newland 's life as he can ne'er interrupt out of societal norms. As Wharton demonstrates a usage of sarcasm as Ellen `` closed the shutters '' ( Wharton, 1918:298 ) , she is symbolically stoping any opportunity that Newland has of altering.

Similarly, Mark Twain uses his chief characters to review his society, but is it non the snobbism and the conventions that are attacked, but the lip service. Huck is used as a device to dramatize the struggle between societal or received morality on the one manus, and a different sort of morality based on intuition and experience on the other. Like persons of his age, Huck is written through the position of a kid and although he is doubting of spiritual values, such an immatureness is demonstrated by the supporter 's superstitious positions as he heard `` a shade '' ( Twain, 1884:4 ) . Despite such beliefs, Huck reflects Twain 's agnosticism as he remains stainless by the regulations and premises of society in which he finds himself in. Even though Huck is speedy to knock the absurdness of the universe around him, he does non try to do discourtesy. He is every bit speedy to state us that though the `` widow cried over me, and called me a hapless lost lamb. . . she ne'er meant no injury by it. '' ( Twain, 1884:2 ) . Couple presents the supporter 's unwillingness to alter after Miss Watson 's efforts to `` sivilize '' ( Twain, 1884:1 ) him, but shortly reverts back to his old wonts after populating with his male parent. The struggle between the subjugation of civilization and `` natural life '' is introduced in the first chapter through the attempts of the Miss Watson, who tries to coerce Huck to have on new apparels, give up smoke, receive an instruction and larn the Bible. Couple nowadayss both Miss Watson and the Widow Douglas as being highly conservative, invariably seeking to learn Huck the ways of a spiritual society which he finds `` boring and only '' ( Twain, 1884:3 ) , whereas Huck is represented as being out traveling and free spirited. Twain uses an analogy to depict Huck 's antipathy for the inefficiency within supplication as Miss Watson tells Huck `` to pray every twenty-four hours, and whatever I asked for I would acquire it. But it war n't so. I tried it. Once I got a fish-line, but no hooksaˆ¦ . I tried for the maulerss three or four times, but somehow I could n't do it work. '' ( Twain, 1884:4 ) Here, Twain suggests that Huck is unable to hold on the construct of formal faith. Furthermore, Huck 's refusal to remain at the Grangerfords reveals his inability to settle down as he says, `` there war n't no place like a raft '' ( Twain, 1884:5 ) Therefore, Huck is used to show the writer 's chief message that the barbarian manner of life is more desirable and morally superior to the corruptness of purportedly civilized American society.

Wharton besides subverts the mythology of America as a new, democratic society. America is supposed to be an uninhibited `` heaven '' as opposed to the stiff European `` snake pit '' experienced by Ellen. However, the writer suggests that people have in fact imported the `` old '' category differentiations and snobbism from Europe. `` Old '' New York society has an ambivalent attitude towards the `` new '' rich. Peoples admire Julius Beaufort because he is affluent but despise him because he is self-made, despite the fact that he has gained societal reputability by get marrieding into the celebrated Mingott household, he is ever at the outer peripheries of society and considered slightly disreputable. The possibility of a new beginning is symbolized by Newland and Ellen 's interlude in the Patroon 's house. The original Dutch governor 's bungalow embodies the possibility that the twosome can get away the yesteryear. In contrast, the new wave der Luydens are one of the most well-thought-of households because of their European lineage, epitomised by their `` high-ceilinged white-walled Madison Avenue drawing-room, with the picket brocaded armchairs so evidently exposed for the juncture, and the gauze still veiling the ormolu mantle decorations '' . ( Wharton, 1918:42 ) Their seal of blessing is needed to derive societal acceptableness, shown when their invitation to Ellen allows her to come in New York society as they delivered her an envelope that `` contained a card ask foring the Countess Olenska to the dinner '' ( Wharton, 1918:7 ) . However, she shortly discovers that this surroundings is merely as stiff and stratified as Europe, as Newland explains, `` New York Society is... ruled, in malice of visual aspects, by a really few people with- well- instead old- fashioned ideasaˆ¦ '' ( Wharton, 1918:89-90 ) Wharton shows that alteration is rejected as a destabilising influence. In the first chapter, Ellen is seen have oning an unfamiliar European style-dress which attracts `` undivided attending '' ( Wharton, 1918:10 ) . The disapproval of such new manner is emphasised when Miss Jackson notes, `` aˆ¦In my youthaˆ¦ it was considered vulgar to dress in the newest fashionsaˆ¦ '' ( Wharton, 1918:211 ) . Wharton points out the inevitable alteration of society by showing a contrast at the terminal of the book ; Dallas Archer has married Julius Beaufort 's bastard girl, Fanny which would hold one time been considered wholly unacceptable. The writer even points out the comparing between Fanny and Ellen as the former `` had won [ New York 's ] bosom much as Madame Olenska had won it 30 old ages before '' ( Wharton, 1918:260 ) . However, now `` alternatively of being distrustful and afraid of her, society gleefully took her for granted. `` ( Wharton, 1918:260 ) . As Newland reflects, `` Peoples presents were excessively busy with reforms and `` motions, '' aˆ¦ to trouble oneself much about their neighbors. '' ( Wharton, 1918:291 ) Therefore, the fact that such a respected and conventional household such as the Archers became connected to `` Beaufort 's assholes '' ( Wharton, 1918:291 ) is used to bespeak how stiff New York society one time was and how much it has changed.

An built-in portion of Wharton 's review is the repression of adult females. Late 19th century New York society is steadfastly patriarchal. Womans are expected to be inanimate, cosmetic and pure. Wharton uses costumes to foreground these outlooks as May is instantly introduced as `` a immature miss in white '' . ( Wharton, 1918:5 ) This symbolism suggests her artlessness and fidelity towards her hereafter partner. In contrast, Ellen is subsequently introduced as have oning a `` dark bluish velvet gown instead stagily caught up under her bosom by a girdle with a big antique clasp. '' . ( Wharton, 1918:7-8 ) This description instantly highlights Ellen 's refusal to conform and so openly ask foring attending which is a complete contrast to May 's costume, proposing her deficiency of conformity of the gender stereotype. Furthermore, adult females are expected to get married and stay so, nevertheless severely they are treated. Wharton emphasises the manner work forces patronise adult females through the relationship between Newland and May. He notices his married woman 's narrow involvement while in London with annoyance, where `` nil interested her but the theaters and the stores. '' ( Wharton, 1918:160 ) and patronizingly teaches her about art. Women within New York society besides have to be compliant and supportive of their hubbies, irrespective of their partners ' behavior as `` May 's lone usage of the autonomy she supposed herself to possess would be to put it on the communion table of her wifelike worship. '' ( Wharton, 1918:160 ) Wharton besides presents the meeting of individualities of adult females with their hubbies through the word picture of the new wave der Luydens who `` were so precisely alike that Archer frequently wondered how, after 40 old ages of the closest conjugality, two such merged individualities of all time separated themselves plenty for anything every bit controversial as a talking-over.. '' . ( Wharton, 1918:43 ) The rebellion against gendered stereotypes is by and large opposed, as shown when Ellen is condemned for take a firm standing on divorce. There are some exclusions, for illustration, Mrs. Manson Mingott, whose `` influence is great throughout her household '' ( Wharton, 1918:206 ) , because she is affluent and does non present a menace to societal convention yet even she refuses to assist her girl, Regina when Beaufort runs off with Fanny. Miss Manson Mingott abandons her girl, claiming that their household name was tarnished by such an incident as she says `` It was Beaufort when he covered you with gems, and it 's got to remain Beaufort now that he 's covered you with shame. '' ( Wharton, 1918:223 ) Furthermore, this intervention of adult females produces societal tensenesss. Newland desires Ellen, who is sexually experienced, and had a affair with Mrs. Rushworth who was his rational equal. However, if he wants to keep male high quality, he has to accept May and the deficiency of fulfillment he knows he will see throughout his married life. It is through the creative activity of these characters that Wharton critiques her patriarchal society. Wharton 's society is brewing with lip service, as money buys non merely regard and human value but besides free scope to populate without effects. In the novel 's society, value and individuality are rooted in philistinism and lip service, bespeaking non merely a crisis of subjectiveness on the degree of the person but besides suggesting at a larger prostration of human relationships in general.

Like Wharton, Twain besides condemns the lip service of the spiritual. However, the onslaught is much more biting, even though the tone, created through Huck 's voice, is humourous and purposes to satirically mock the values presented by the supporter. In the first chapter, Miss Watson introduces Huck to `` the bad topographic point '' ( Twain, 1884:3 ) , while the supporter, could non `` see no advantage in traveling '' ( Twain, 1884:3 ) to Heaven. Twain indicates that despite the caretakers ' purposes, Huck ne'er sees any existent weight in faith and treats the construct of Eden and snake pit as a myth. Subsequently, when the mountebanks, `` Duke '' and `` King '' , convert a spiritual community to give them money so they can `` change over '' their non-existent plagiarist friends, the God-fearing common people are easy fooled as King `` went all through the crowd with his chapeau '' ( Twain, 1884:171 ) roll uping money and is subsequently offered adjustment. Therefore, King and the Duke are used to stand for those con-men who use faith in a corrupt mode, for self-gain. The chapters where Huck meets the Grangerford and Sheperdson allows Twain to utilize sarcasm in order to reprobate certain facets of purportedly civilized America. Both households represent the wealthy and educated and uncover the senseless ferociousness and gratuitous slaughter involved in their arbitrary construct of honor. The dignified Colonel Grangerford, who is eager for the glorification to be gained from hiting `` a few buck-shot `` ( Twain, 1884:141 ) at a Shepherdson household member, unquestioningly believes in devaluating human life, emphasized by the Twain 's suggestion of the feud is so arbitrary that the households do non even know why they are contending ( Q ) . Both feuding households are church departers and in one discourse where both the households `` took their guns along '' ( Twain, 1884:142 ) , given by Mr. Grangerford he speaks of `` brotherlike love '' ( Twain, 1884:142 ) while, hypocritically, encourages the slaying of the opposing household. Twain satirise this by showing Huck 's oblivion to spiritual values, crying that `` it seem aˆ¦to be one of the roughest Sundays, I had run across yet '' ( Twain, 1884:142 ) , when compared to the household 's positive remarks about the `` good discourse '' ( Twain, 1884:142 ) . Through this averment, it can be suggested that Twain is resentful towards the contradiction of spiritual values, which is reinforced by the in writing description of the confrontation as Buck recalls that `` his male parent and his brother was killed, and two or three of the enemy. '' ( Twain, 1884:148 ) intended to floor the readers and reinforce Twain 's point that God-fearing and self-proclaimed observant Americans feel justified in utilizing such ferociousness. This incident is besides in marked contrast to the breeding of Wharton, who ne'er references force. This comparing clearly indicates the different nature of these two respective societies - the abrasiveness of the South and the polish of New York - even though both claim to be, in comparing with aliens, civilised.

Another major unfavorable judgment of Twain 's society is the unfairness of bondage. In The Adventures Huckleberry Finn, The writer uses sarcasm to show that bondage is supported by even the most `` moral '' of characters. Miss Watson, an educated and devout Christian adult female, is besides a slave proprietor, connoting that people who regard themselves as morally unsloped believe that bondage is justified inkinesss are purportedly racially inferior and is willing to sell Jim `` down to Orleans '' ( Q ) for eight-hundred dollars. Furthermore, the word picture of Pap reinforces the connexion between hapless moral character, racism, and the credence of bondage. He is portrayed as, non merely a racialist, but besides, a rude, self-involved rummy and kid maltreater. As he says `` I was merely approximately to travel and vote myself if I war n't excessively imbibe to acquire at that place ; but when they told me there was a State in this State where they 'd allow a nigger ballot, I drawed out. '' ( Twain, 1884:36 ) The writer presents how visual aspect and clamber coloring material are the lone standards considered by the societies of the South when finding who is afforded rights in comparing to the black `` p'fessor '' ( Twain, 1884:36 ) from the northern province of Ohio. It appears that regardless of how immoral and depraved a white adult male might be, he is still afforded more power than that of a moral black character wish Jim as he is immediately blamed for the `` slaying '' of Huck. Therefore exemplifying how society is speedy to fault persons who are socially underprivileged. Here, Twain 's really willingness to portray a morally unsloped character like Jim, whose predicament is intended to convey understanding, presents an attitude that is doubtless anti-slavery. In contrast to Pap 's changeless maltreatment of his boy, Jim is shown to lose his household as he `` was frequently moaning and mourning that manner, darks, when he judged that [ Huck ] was asleep '' ( Twain, 1884:201 ) as he realises that he `` ai n't of all time gwyne to see '' ( Twain, 1884:201 ) them of all time once more. Twain emphasizes Jim 's superior moral facets to Huck 's male parent by showing the character 's compunction in penalizing his girl, 'lizabeth, after gaining that she is deaf and was hence, unable to listen to his demands. True the supporter does express racist attitudes towards Jim when he says `` I would n't agitate my nigga, would I? - the lone... nigga I had in the universe, and the lone belongings. '' ( Twain, 1884:279 ) However, Twain indicates that Huck is merely a kid who has been influenced by societal bias as he is raised within a deeply bigoted society.

While The Age of Innocence and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn are really similar in manner and building, the chief difference occurs in the usage of imagination. Wharton uses the coloring material `` white '' to symbolize pureness and artlessness, as exemplified in May 's costumes as she dresses in `` white and splinter '' ( Wharton,1918:53 ) and the `` corsage of lilies-of-the-valley '' ( Wharton,1918:5 ) she receives from Newland. In contrast, Twain uses the thought of `` white '' to sabotage the racial bias practised by the white Southerners. Pap Finn represents the worst facets of white society as he is illiterate, nescient, violent, and deeply bigoted. As Huck remarks, his male parent is `` white ; but non like another adult male 's white, but a white to do a organic structure ill '' . ( Twain, 1884:25 ) Here, the sickening deathlike lividness of Finn 's tegument underscores Twain 's disapprobation of the Whites who feel that they are superior to inkinesss, merely because of the coloring material of their tegument. Conversely, the black professor from Ohio is described as have oning `` all right apparels '' , `` a gold ticker and concatenation, and a silver-headed cane '' and is able to `` speak all sorts of linguistic communications, and knowed everything '' ( Twain, 1884:36 ) . This clearly educated adult male is able to vote whereas Pap takes his privileges for granted, warranting his failure to vote by stating he was `` excessively intoxicated '' ( Twain, 1884:36 ) . In set uping the contrast between Pap and the Negro, Twain overturns the traditional positions of his clip which suggests that the color white, non black, is associated with immorality.


Clearly, The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn and The Age of Innocence are really similar in the manner they present vesicating reviews on their several societies. Both Wharton and Twain use a wide-ranging assortment of different schemes to convey their message. The word pictures of major and minor characters illustrate how persons react and are affected by biass. In Wharton 's instance, the memorable supporter, Newland Archer, is bogged down by society 's fright of alteration, whilst Twain 's Huckleberry Finn subtly remarks on the unfairnesss of his society through the infantile eyes of artlessness. Furthermore, linguistic communication, manner and symbolism reinforce the unfavorable judgments. Readers of both plants are invited to reason that conformance, bias and lip service are unacceptable values for any society to keep and tolerance and fairness are far more preferred.

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