Literature – Shame and Reputation

Something easy to deal with today, I hope you enjoy.


Shame and reputation

The reputation of a women is important in both novels. In Wuthering Heights, if a woman has a bad reputation for something, usually something against social standards, then she has shamed herself. This can have an impact on her family, whose name has been shamed by whatever she did. The worst thing is when a has had sexual contact, whether holding hands, kissing or sex, out of marriage. She will never marry after this to a respectable family as she is a shame, a sinner and her reputation has been tarnished.

Catherine only seems to care about her reputation when her social status is at stake. Social standing is affected by your reputation, so she turns into a refined young lady. With Heathcliff, she doesn’t care because he doesn’t care. She is wild, loved the moors and enjoys ‘male’ activities. Cathy is raised differently but she still disregards some of her reputation in order to visit with Linton the same way Edgar visited with Catherine alone.

In A Thousand Splendid Suns, Mammy tells Laila about her reputation and how delicate it is. No one is allowed to even look at the faces of women in most of the book as it is not right. The social standards are what creates the standards for a woman’s reputations. People “talk” about Laila and Tariq because they are life-long friends that spend time together. There is no proof but even Laila tries to stay away in order to keep her reputation intact.

Nana is shamed the first time and gains a reputation when the jinn ‘attacks’ her and she scares her fiancé away. She gains a reputation for having a bad spirit around her, and no more suiters come for her hand because of this reputation. Later, after getting pregnant, she needs to marry Jalil to save her, and his, reputation, but they don’t, so she is a shame and her father leaves her. She can never marry and there are a lot of conditions put on her because she is a single mother.


All done 🙂 Please comment any debate points and like if you liked it, it really does encourage me!

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