Societal Expectations: A Comparison Through 19th Century Lit

             Social expectations in society play a major role in many literature stories of the 19th century. Social construction throughout this century grew rapidly because of many different changes occurring in society. These changes include slavery, war, politics and even European migration to the United States. But most of all, the 19th century is sometimes called "the century of society." Literature during this time is a way to look back at how societal expectations were so important in one's social class. In these stories, characters do things that are look down upon in their own social class. They do not fit in with the societal expectation that they are supposed to, which causes the story to focus on their own personal triumph over the society that sees them as "different." In this paper, I will look at three different 19th century literary works and analyze how they approach the issue of their own society's expectations.
             In the first story, "An Episode of War" by Stephen Crane, the author uses the battlefield as the main setting. It was written around the time of the Civil War, which helps me believe this is the specific war the writer was trying to focus his readers' attention to. The main character is a lieutenant, who while making coffee gets injured in the arm. The injury is significant because making coffee is about as mundane a task as one can imagine. Throughout the story, his fellow soldiers would not help him, and he starts to feel as if he is now insignificant in this war. Following his wound, he feels what it is like to be on the other side of the war. He even gets a chance to observe it along the outskirts of the battlefield. A paragraph in the story states that:
             "As the wounded officer passed from the line of battle, he was enabled to see many things which as a participant in the fight were unknown to him. He saw a general on a black horse gazing over the lin...

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