Comparative Study, Emma and Sive

Topics: Love, Emma, Jane Austen Pages: 2 (786 words) Published: May 12, 2011
Comparative studies, Emma and Sive IMPORTANCE OF MONEY ‘Emma’ is set in England in the early nineteenth century. Jane Austen succeeds in communicating the values of her culture and society. Money is highly valued in this society. People are judged by their wealth and material possessions. In some ways the cultural context of ‘Sive’ is utterly different to that of ‘Emma’. It too is set in a stable rural society of families and neighbours, but quite unlike the novel, the main characters lead lives that seem to be deprived of all enjoyment or refinement. However, money is extremely important in ‘Sive’ just as in ‘Emma’. Rural Ireland in the 1950’s was blighted by poverty, and this is reflected in the play. People were measured in terms of what land and crops they possessed. Poverty was a sign of shame. Nana mocks Mena for her background ‘the cabin you came out of’. Mr Knightely, the hero of ‘Emma’ is a member of ‘the landed gentry’. He belongs to those who were said to have ‘old money’, that is, he is a landowner whose estates yield him an income and he would be an ideal husband. Similarly in ‘SIVE’ Sean Dota is presented as a man of means ‘he have the grass of twenty cows’. Mena therefore seizes on the idea of Sive marrying him. What makes the match even more attractive for Mena is the 200 pounds that Sean Dota is prepared to give. Although Mike, Mena’s husband, objects to the scheme at first, it is clear that for him, too, making money is what motivates him in life. He sees that money buys respect ‘Money is the best friend a man ever had’. It is only a matter of time before he will see Sive’s marriage as worthwhile. Whereas the attitude to money in ‘Emma’ was perhaps expressed in a more refined way, it can be seen in both texts that for some people money is more important than human happiness. Emma’s eagerness to make a match between Harriet and Mr Elton even though she preferred Robert Martin shows this interest in social standing, just as Mena’s scheming about...
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