Social Rules and Expectations in "Old Mortality" Analytical Essay by Master Researcher

Social Rules and Expectations in "Old Mortality"
An examination of the social rules and expectations in southern society, as seen in "Old Mortality".
# 35286 | 900 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2002 | US
Published on Sep 25, 2003 in Literature (American) , English (Analysis)

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This paper explores the qualities in Amy extolled by her father, and the cultural expectations for women at the time. The paper discusses how women are represented as being in an unreal world, and Miranda is doomed by these societal expectations. The paper asserts that the father's ideal is the worst possible image of femininity, based on nothing but illusions about women.

From the Paper:

"Amy is idealized by her brother, Harry. The society also idealizes her: "every older person who looked at the picture said, 'How lovely'...everyone who had known her thought her so beautiful and charming" (Porter 9). The reality is that Amy is nothing more than 'a ghost in a frame'. However, even though all of what is stated is revealed to be false, Amy is the ideal woman. Certain expectations are the dangerous ones of the modern period. "She was much slimmer than that, too. There were never any fat women in the family, thank God" (Porter 10). Miranda's father maintains that all the girls in the family over every generation had been "as slim as reeds and graceful as sylphs" (11). He is a father who teaches his daughters the importance of appearances in a cruel way. "He was a pleasant, everyday sort of father, who held his daughters on his knee if they were prettily dressed and well-behaved, and pushed them away if they had not freshly combed hair and nicely scrubbed fingernails" (21)."

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Social Rules and Expectations in "Old Mortality" (2003, September 25) Retrieved December 07, 2019, from

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"Social Rules and Expectations in "Old Mortality"" 25 September 2003. Web. 07 December. 2019. <>