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- Although texts across time have portrayed women in terms of a dichotomy between good and bad it is frequently unclear exactly how composers feel about that dichotomy To what extent are the composers of the texts you have studied ambivalent towards their female characters - Many texts across time have portrayed their women in terms of a dichotomy between good and bad or virtuous and vixenish However it is frequently unclear how the composers feel about that dichotomy and the women can be seen as both good and bad depending on the opinions of each individual reader This blurring of the line separating the good and bad women is evident in examples such as Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare and Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen Out of those three texts William Makepeace Thackerays Vanity Fair stands out as the strongest example of a composers ambivalence towards their female characters In Vanity Fair Thackeray often remarks about his female characters or having other characters comment on them The dichotomy between virtuous and vixenish is most unclear regarding the main female characters of the novel Becky Sharp and Amelia Sedley Becky Sharp compared to Amelia Sedley is portrayed as the bad woman She speaks her mind she is not afraid of men and she does whatever she has to do to climb up the social ladder of Vanity Fair eg flirting with men in front of her husband Rawdon to gain status She uses people if she sees fit such as ingratiating herself with the Sedleys stealing Amelias jewellery and leaving when she sees that she has no chance marrying Jos Sedley but not before she has gotten some money from the sympathetic Mr Sedley using her status as an orphan to gain pity Despite of her actions however Thackeray justifies her actions and seems ambivalent towards her place in
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