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Comparison of Texts

Wife of Bath and Behind the Scenes

Angela Rose

on 28 May 2013

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Transcript of Comparison of Texts

Imagery Behind the Scenes Intertextuality References to ‘the Wizard of Oz’:
Ruby: “ I don’t think this is Kansas, Teddy’.

References to ‘Snow White':
“the one who dropped ruby red blood onto a snow white handkerchief and wished for a little girl with hair the colour of a black ravens wing” Wife of Bath and Behind the Scenes at the Museum Intertextuality Form and Structure Context Behind the Scenes Characterisation Behind the Scenes Wife of Bath & Behind the Scenes at the Museum Comparisons of Texts Narrative Structure Imagery Motifs Connotations Idealisations Stereotypes Style Bildungsroman Fairytale Themes Politics Form The references to fictional stories demonstrates the interchanging world of fantasy and reality in the characters minds. Which seems to be used as a way of avoiding or accepting disappointments in life. References to ‘the Wizard of Oz’:

“…a pair of Ruby red slippers”

The suggestion of a pretend ‘technicolour’ world compared to the beginning original black and white version. Behind the Scenes “We’re off! Not to see the wizard, but on holiday”.
This again a reference to the Wizard of Oz and another link to Ruby’s Fantasy world. Bunty regularly compares herself to famous movie stars such as Doris Day; self-deceit, not like any of them and her character changes regularly. She is not her own person, trying to be someone else all the time. Wife of Bath ‘“Whoso that nil be war by othere men,
By him shul othere men corrected be.”
The same wordes writeth Ptholomee;
Rede in his Almageste and take it there.’

This shows that the wife is well read as she can quote from famous text but this is not necessarily believable which can be said to be just a reflection of Chaucer. The use of intertextuality could be used as a way of justifying the wife's actions so she uses it as evidence to create an argument that what she's doing isn't wrong.
BUT by using repetition of her arguments and the extent of text that she refers to, makes it seem that she is trying to convince herself instead of the audience. Jankin's books of women have excessively graphic and cruel imagery towards women. This length of singular reference, emphasises the male ideal of women in society: 'Of Eva first, that for hir wikkednesse Was ak mankynde broght to wrecchednesse...' Sources of: 'authoritee'; biblical exegis, personal
interpretations of the Bible. The name Ruby can be a metaphor to compare her to a ‘precious jewel ‘ and a ‘drop of blood’. Ruby is the most desirable gem due to its hardness and durability demonstrating her strength if character and suggesting she will be unharmed by her tough childhood. The ‘Drop of blood’ reference could symbolise the fake accusations made against Ruby about her Twin Sister, Pearl’s death. Since blood can be associated with death, bloodshed and evil connotations. Atkinson's description of fire in chapter 7 is told in two long sentences, highlighting how everything is happening at a fast pace. Using long sentences throughout the novel e.g. chapter 11, Pearl's death: 'As Patricia was dragged out of the pond, screaming and kicking...' Atkinson uses regular parenthesis to give a more detailed description of Ruby's thoughts to thoroughly understand her character: 'Everyone is related (unfortunately) to each other'. By using brackets Atkinson allows the reader to gain a better understanding of how Ruby thinks creating a link and intimacy between the reader and character. Wife of Bath But the gem Ruby is still ‘subject to chipping if handled roughly’ which shows how her the events may affect her and chip away at her strength of character which is shown in chapter 11. Chaucer uses lots of animal imagery as people lived in close proximity with animals and so this allows all audiences to relate to the wife.
‘For as a hors I koude loite and whine’. This is the Wife of Bath comparing herself to a horse as she says women are vicious and complain. ‘that I was lyk a cat, For whose wolde senge a cattes skin’ The Wife of Bath compares herself to a cat that has singed fur if she is staying in, but a cat has beautiful fur and needs to show it off. Chaucer also uses other imagery to help the Wife of Bath justify the way she treats men and her morals and ideologies in general towards marriage and men.
‘he shall never the lasse light, pardee. Have thou ynogh, thee that not pleyne thee’ this is a metaphor that is you have enough light, why would you not let another man use your light sex outside of marriage. ‘The 20th century saw an incredible change in the roles of women in the UK. At the start of the century they were denied a voice and a vote and were told that a woman's place was in the home. By the end of it their position had changed beyond recognition. ‘
-'The Women's Century: a celebration of changing roles'. World War I and especially World War II saw the development of women outside of the household. Men off fighting meant that they needed women to work in the factories to produces weapons etc. This caused women to become much more independent and even though the 50’s had much about being a good housewife, by the 70’s many women went out to work, as well as the husband. Throughout the 50’s,60’s and 70’s the role of women went from being restricted to the household to expanding outside and into the working world. They also had more freedom over their lives, able to pursue avenues in life that had only really been open to men, e.g. University.
They also had was to control motherhood. The contraceptive pill was introduced to Britain in 1961, which gave women a bit more control over their lives, so they don’t end up like Bunty mouthing “a silent Munch-like scream” Wife of Bath Great Expectations In the 19th century the Industrial Revolution transformed life in Britain. It changed from a country where most people lived in the countryside and worked in farming to one where most people lived in towns and worked in industry. Women still lower then men in the social hierarchy.
The 19th century saw some women manage to push through the ‘man barrier’ to create names for themselves e.g. Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte. There was a strong social class hierarchy, which belittled the working class and created a similar status chain as the Medieval Chain of Being. Child’s voice, comes across as mature. Reader goes along with the humour of a foetus narrating a story.
At the beginning she is Naïve when her sister tells her she has lost her virginity she asks if she ‘needs help finiding it’. Omniscient narrator; She is engulfed in her own world and doesn’t realise anything outside her world, she refers to herself as ‘a precious stone, a drop of blood’ but her family perceive her as ‘just ruby’ nothing special. She uses language of a way from escaping from reality. She shows phobia of water which links to Pearls death. She tries to escape from reality by attempting suicide. Very philosophical. - ‘Yesterday I didn’t exist, now I do, isn’t life amazing?' “I am alive. I am a precious jewel. I am a drop of blood. I am Ruby Lennox.” Ruby repeats this mantra across the novel, emphasising the way in which her core identity has persisted throughout her life, as it is first said after her birth and in the last line of the novel as her life progresses into its latter half. It indicates that her identity is strongly intertwined with her name, and that despite her trials in life she has remained true to her individuality. Wife of Bath Does not stick to the conventional way of how a medieval woman should behave. ‘gat-toothed’ and ‘scarlet reed’ is quite shocking.
A very dominant female, she is able to control her husbands. She is very selfish and shows signs of the 7 deadly sins. Lust ‘Hir hosen weren of fyn scarlet reed, Ful streite yteyd, and shoes ful moiste and newe’
She is very controlling and dominating towards her husbands ‘I have the power duringe al my lyf’. Lust ‘Hir hosen weren of fyn scarlet reed, Ful streite yteyd, and shoes ful moiste and newe’
She is very controlling and dominating towards her husbands ‘I have the power duringe al my lyf’
fun scarlet reed" and her shoes are "moister and new": the effect is perhaps to advertise her and her wealth. Her habit of going on pilgrimages suggests a devout woman, but her real reasons for such travel are a love of adventure, and the social opportunities these trips bring. Self-Knowledge Behind the Scenes Ruby – Throughout most of the novel Ruby seems naive about her past and seems lost as a character "I prefer to be as far away as possible from the loch. It creates feelings of unease inside me…it reminds me of something, but what?” and it is not until chapter 11 entitled ‘Wisdom’ that she unlocks the secrets to her childhood gaining self knowledge and accepting past events “Nothing is lost for ever, Patricia, it’s all there somewhere. Every last pin.” Alice – Alice as shown through Atkinson’s use of footnotes to be very discontent with her lifestyle and initially finds the traditional housewife role to be burdensome and her life not improved “Poor Alice, brought up to play the piano and look pretty,…a school teacher by the time she was 18…with nothing to her name except her mother’s clock and a silver locket her grandfather had given her when she was born” however after she leaves she still does not gain satisfaction from life “she felt as if a great stone had been laid on her breastbone and she was being slowly suffocated by it”. Patricia is shown through adolescence to be unhappy and isolated “I have a sickness of the soul” the family disputes with Bunty in particular and her having to put up her child up for adoption leads to Patricia leaving the family home in search for happiness a search in which she succeeds “It was almost impossible for us to believe that this person glowing with energy could possibly be Patricia”. Wife of Bath Chaucer’s presentation of the ‘wyf for his original medieval audience can be seen as satirical. She is shown to be very inconsistent, particularly in her flawed arguments and interpretation of the bible to justify her many marriage:s “Lo, heere, the wise king, daun Salomon; he hadde wives mo than oon
Examples of her flawed arguments include her many references to herself as an animal. She is critical of her husband degrading her and likening her to an animal ( the medieval view of the universe was hierarchical with humans placed above animals ):“Thane wolde the cat wel dwellen in his in; And if the catte be slik and gay, she wol nat dwelle in house half a day” However later on in her prologue Chaucer makes the wyf liken herself to a horse “for as an hors loude bite and whine”. The wife uses her femininity to get what she wants: “maistrie” over “goode men, and riche and olde” However her insight that women want what they cannot have “Forbede us thing and that desiren we” is not understand by her as she continues to establish dominance over husband 5 and her Tale depicts female maistrie. In the end therefore she does not achieve self knowledge as we see Ruby do in ‘Behind the Scenes at the Museum’ . During the prologue the wyf is shown to have an understanding of aging: “But age, allas, that al wole envenime, half me biraft my beautee and my pith” and this reflection is the first moment in which we can connect with the wyf, and these thoughts may reflect Chaucer’s as he was writing at the same age as his created character.
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