Introduction This report will explore the way in which the author, Louise Bag shaw represents the characters under the topics of gender, social class, power and sympathies. Gender The author promotes traditional beliefs about men and women. However there is a significant change with regards to central characters that are unconcerned about conventional gender roles. Nina Nina ignores the boundaries set by society in which men and women are expected to act.
Nina refuses to change herself in order to fit into the restrictive mould that society has created for her. Nina was a young women with no formal training, from the wrong side of the track, storming one of corporate Manhattan's most exclusive male bastions, Dragon plc. , it was unheard of and Nina was quit an exception. The only women that worked there were likely to be found in typical feminine roles such as receptionists and secretaries, they were all fair from being pleased to see a women executive and they all resented her bitterly because she was a character with unconventional actions towards gender roles.
Tony Tony's beliefs about gender had been obviously old fashioned in his depiction of men and women. His patterns of employment provide evidence of this. Tony was Chief Executive of Dragon pharmaceuticals. Dragon acted like a gentleman's club, they wanted clean-cut young men. Although Tony didn't mind the odd women around.
He paid them less and they worked harder. However Tony didn't see these women's social and cultural differences, but saw purely biological differences between them. Elizabeth Elizabeth did not fit into the categories that mainstream society regard as natural for their gender. Elizabeth is not satisfied with devoting her life to a husband and children, she craved more, and she needed to be her own person. Elizabeth wants to be a woman, instead of merely a mother, or a wife, like her traditional father wanted for her. But Elizabeth grew up careless of what other people would expect of her.
All that she wanted was to become a businesswoman. Class This novel explores they way in which social division between groups are represented. Nina Roth Nina's chance of obtaining wealth was limited by forces beyond her control. Nina grew up as a poor Jewish girl; an only child because her parents couldn't have afforded a second, they could barely manage the first.
Her whole life she had one blind obsession: to get out of the South slope, away from the drugs and the garbage, the graffiti, the gangs and away from home. When she was ten years old she studied desperately for St Michael's scholarship. She knew her rich classmates despised her, but she didn't care, because school was her way out. Elizabeth Savage Elizabeth Savage grew up in a typical upper class society. Elizabeth grew up scandalously careless of her station. She made friends with the servants kids, climbed apple trees in her vest and knickers and got suspended four times from school.
She is presented, as not acting according to stereotype of what upper class society would expect. Elizabeth moves out of her grand comfortable castle where she can lead an independent life free from restraints imposed upon by her father, and society as a whole. She strives to find a room of her own, yet towards the end of the novel, she realises that her father will not follow her rebellion against the codes of their society, which would mean that she would live a solitary and lonely existence. Tony Tony is represented as a typical upper class male.
Tony was the Thirtieth Earl of Caerhaven, not only was he one of the oldest titles in Whales, owned Lord Caerhaven Castle and seven hundred acres of rich farmland, Tony was chief Executive of Dragon plc. His wife Monica, place was to stand beside Tony and look great, she liked spending his money and hosting his endless parties. Power The concept of power in this novel is often represented as a force imposed from above. However, these power only effects the social structure, no characters are completely powerful or powerless.
Tony Tony shows the ability to have a lot of power and influence over many characters in this novel. The power that Tony has over Nina creates the category of 'boss' and 'worker'. Tony always had to be in charge. That was the best thing that he liked about Nina: she was smart and driven, but still too young to really see things straight. When she got a good idea she would go straight to him.
Tony always looked at Nina in a superior maddening way. 'Don' t forget who you are', he said. 'I took you out of there and I could send you back.' Tony had her future, everything, right in the palm of his hand. He had her where he wanted her and that was how he wanted it to stay. Nina Nina does have a lot of power over her from above, but she also shows power over other characters. Nina hates having to waste her time with Lady Elizabeth.
Nina could not stand her. Nina never wasted her time in putting Elizabeth down. Nina worked directly for Tony, she was he's right-hand girl on the slimming drug, that job Elizabeth desperately wanted. Nina used her different degree of power; she used Tony for what he could do for herself and not what she could do for him. She got herself where she was by herself and although Tony had her future, she had the power to change that future. Elizabeth The only thing that Elizabeth was fascinated by was business, the only thing about her dad that she admired.
Elizabeth had always admired the family company and she had always wanted to work there. But Tony would never let it happen. At first Elizabeth had no power over her father to get her dream of working in the family company, but when she became a champion skier, her father had to listen to her. She had become a national heroine. But that was not what she wanted to be.
She wanted to work at her fathers company and become a businesswoman. She used her power of being a national heroine to blackmail Tony. Tony finally gave in and gave her the job that she wanted. Advertising on New Products for his company.
But whatever she suggested to Nina, she would waste no time to refuse to consent to. Jake and Richard and Dino and all the other advertising guys, all loved Elizabeth's ideas, but Nina would stop her work form getting anywhere. Sympathies This novel represents characters whom we can feel a strong connection with the characters Nina We can identify with Nina because she is the underdog and has had to rise over her disadvantages to come out on top. Many people can identify her struggles towards her dreams and ambitions.
Elizabeth We can identify with Elizabeth because to succeed in her ambitions she has to rise over the disadvantages that she has to face. We can identify to her just like Nina with her struggles to achieve her dreams and ambitions. Conclusion The concept of class and gender is closely related in this novel. Elizabeth, like Nina, believed that society needed to change its attitude towards women, class and their role in that society. Women's main concerns in life were to be the raising of their children and submissiveness to their husbands. These two women who turned down these expected roles, and, consequently, suffered because of it.
Power and Sympathies are also closely related in the novel. Nina and Elizabeth both have higher enemies of higher power that will not let them succeed. Nina is a poor Jewish girl who becomes a brilliant businesswoman, Elizabeth an English public school girl who is a champion skier. Women from different part of the world, from different sides of the social track, but under the skin the same. Both desperate and determined to make an extraordinary mark on the world. Both with enemies who will not willingly see them succeed.