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Virtues Essay, Research Paper

Virtue: A Timeless Characteristic

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From a wide position an understanding between multiple parties can be compromised on the definition of virtuousness. However, when approached on the subject of virtuousness from a personal position, the definition can be altered to accommodate one s ain life experiences. This can be exemplified through the positions of three ladies, Aprha Behn, Frances Burney, and Mary Shelley. In each of their plants the subject of virtuousness is indirectly expressed through assorted state of affairss and characters, all alone to each other.

The boundaries for which virtuousness is illustrated through these texts is creatively shown in different spectrums. Behn depicts virtuousness as artlessness, pureness and holding a charitable nature. In & # 8220 ; The Unfortunate Happy Lady, & # 8221 ; Behn instantly begins puting her boundaries for virtuousness within the first two sentences. She reveals this through her debut of Sir William Wilding, & # 8220 ; I shall hide the unhappy Gentleman s ain under the borrow vitamin D Names of Sir William Wilding, who succeeded his Father Sir Edward, in an Estate of near 4000l. a Year, inheriting all that belong vitamin D to him, except his Virtues & # 8221 ; ( Behn.1 ) . From this it is just to reason that Behn deems virtuousness as something that can non be bought nor inherited.

Behn s strongest portraiture of virtuousness is used through Sir William s younger beloved sister Philadelphia. The debut of Philadelphia is once more established with a footing of virtuousness, & # 8221 ; his Sister Philadelphia, a immature Lady of first-class Beauty, Education, and virtue & # 8220 ; ( Behn 1 ) . Philadelphia would so look merely every bit virtuous during the clip of the other two texts, Evelina written by Burney during the 18th century and Frankenstein by Shelley written during the Romantic epoch, as she is during Restoration.

Her virtuousness is dateless, but ne’er more well-thought-of and appreciated than that of her ain clip. The regard she receives through the other characters in the text reveals this fact. For case, her wise man or kinds, Lady Fairlaw is so intrigued by Philadelphia s virtuousness that upon deceasing she told her hubby, & # 8220 ; that she had observ vitamin D he had a peculiar Esteem or Kindness for Philadelphia ; which was now a great Satisfaction to her ; since she assur vitamin D, that if he marry d her, she would turn out an first-class Nurse to him, and protract his Life by some Years & # 8221 ; ( Behn 11 ) . Giving Counsellor Fairlaw the approval of get marrieding Philadelphia discloses the fact that Lady Fairlaw confidently believes Philadelphia is guiltless and pure.

As the narrative ends Philadelphia s virtuousness is rewarded with wealth, award and power when Counsellor Fairlaw dies. It is shortly after revealed that her brother is fighting, holding incurred debts during their clip apart. Philadalphia pays off his debts despite his selfishness exhibited throughout the text. His response to her charity: & # 8220 ; O matchless Goodness of a virtuous Sister! Here are the Mortgages of the best Part of my Estate! Oxygen! what a Villain! what a Monster I have been! & # 8221 ; ( Behn 14 ) .

The & # 8220 ; Unfortunate Happy Lady, & # 8221 ; exhibits virtuousness as something that can non be bought, inherited, or acquired like material things. Behn allows her audience to seek their ain definition of virtuousness, utilizing Philadelphia as a theoretical account. Her virtuousness is non based on her sex, beginning, or topographic point in society. Her virtuousness is based on how she responds to state of affairss.

Unlike regard, gracefulness, and other elect features, virtuousness is dateless and its definition does non alter from epoch to era as seen in the fresh Evelina by Frances Burney.

Initially, Frances Burney s perceptual experience of virtuousness seems rather different from that of Behn s in & # 8220 ; The Unfortunate Happy Lady, & # 8221 ; but by the terminal of the narrative their grasp for the term is really similar. The original perceptual experience of virtuousness is based on several incidents that happen early on with the fresh s chief character Evelina.

From the get downing Burney introduces Evelina as virtuous through the words of Mr. Villars, who acts as the parent figure during her adolescence. He is composing to Lady Howard who finally inquire for the company of Evelina for her granddaughter in London, & # 8220 ; I need non talk to your Ladyship of the virtuousnesss of that first-class immature animal & # 8221 ; ( Burney 103 ) . Immediately the word virtuousness is introduced, puting the tone for Evelina.

Burney trades with the issue of society s mentality on virtuousness. Through the eyes of Evelina we can see what tonss of adolescent misss trade with in respects to happening their true egos. Which in Evelina s instance is virtue. Evelina writes often to Mr. Villars about what she is sing in London. New to the life style she is being introduced to, her letters exuberate how aroused she is, & # 8220 ; This minute arrived. Merely traveling to Drury-Lane theater. The famed Mr. Garrick performs Ranger. I am

rather in extacy” ( Burney 116 ) .

Finally her exhilaration catches up with her and receives a crash class in adolescence. While go toing a ball Evelina finds herself in an unfamiliar state of affairs, while dancing with one chap she refuses the manus of another, an evident no-no at this peculiar assembly, & # 8220 ; I have merely danced at school, & # 8211 ; and so dizzy and heedless I was, that I was non one time considered the improperness of declining one spouse, and afterwards accepting another & # 8221 ; ( Burney 126 ) . Through this Evelina uncovers the abrasiveness of society s regulations and outlooks, but all in all remains virtuous and grows from her experiences.

Evelina s true virtuousness is ne’er more revealed than during the most humourous portion of the novel. As a senseless act of wit Madame Duval, a instead tender adult female, has been kidnapped and tossed around by Captain Mirvan, who detested Madame Duval. Evelina, other than retainers, is the merely other individual attach toing Madame Duval. As Evelina runs to comfort Madame Duval Evelina explains, & # 8220 ; she hit me with a violent smack on the face! I retreated from her with precipitation and apprehension and she so loaded me with reproaches, which, though about unintelligible, convinced me that she imagined I had voluntarily deserted her & # 8221 ; ( Burney 260 ) . Evelina s reaction: & # 8220 ; I was so much surprised and confounded at the blow, that, I suffered her to rave without doing any reply ; but her existent agony, shortly dispelled my choler, which all turned into compassion & # 8221 ; ( Burney 260 ) .

Through all the bloopers Evelina still comes out virtuous by the terminal of the novel. Mr. Villars still delighted with Evelina writes, & # 8220 ; Every want of my psyche is now fulfilled & # 8211 ; for the felicitousness of my Evelina is equal to her worthiness! & # 8221 ; ( Burney 553 ) . Evelina s virtue much like Philadelphia s roots from how she reacts to state of affairss. As we drift into the Romantic epoch we encounter yet another female character used to portray virtuousness. Much like Evelina and & # 8220 ; The & # 8220 ; Unfortunate Happy Lady & # 8221 ; Mary Shelley uses a female character to portray virtuousness.

Victor Frankenstein is really the chief character of the novel. However, many would hold that he is by no means a adult male of virtuousness, others may differ. Elizabeth, his cousin and married woman, exemplifies all possible definitions of virtuous. She is most decidedly Frankenstein s virtuousness as he so many times eludes in the text, & # 8220 ; While I admired her apprehension and fancy, I loved to be given to her, as I should on a favorite animate being ; and I saw so much grace both of individual and head united to so small pretense & # 8221 ; ( Shelley 66 ) .

Throughout the full narrative, Elizabeth proves to be the binding gum for the household.

When Caroline, Frankenstein s female parent and Elizabeth s aunt dies, Elizabeth was at that place to assist ease the hurting as Frankenstein informs here, & # 8220 ; She consoled me, amused her uncle, instructed my brothers ; and I ne’er beheld her so enrapturing as at this clip, when she was continually endeavoring to lend to the felicity of others, wholly unretentive of herself & # 8221 ; ( Shelley 73 ) . Each clip that Frankenstein falls ailment from exhaustion Elizabeth s letters greet him to hearten him up and give him the motive to recover his strength. All the manner up to her decease she did everything to do Frankenstein happy, & # 8221 ; wherever I am, the soothing voice of my Elizabeth will be of all time whispered in my ear & # 8221 ; ( Shelley 234 ) . Although the chief character in this novel did non expose virtuousness as did Evelina and Philadelphia, it does non intend that virtuousness played a minor function in the novel. If you take off virtue than you have taken away Elizabeth and without Elizabeth there would non hold a Victor Frankenstein.

Reading all three of these texts revealed that virtuousness has non perceptibly changed dating back from Restoration, through the 18th century and up to the Romantic epoch. In fact, virtuousness still remains the same today. Virtue, may in some ways change depending on one s station in life, but that was non evident in the three text modeled here. Virtue does non stay changeless for everyone, it can easy lost and hard to recapture. Those that have it are without a uncertainty as particular as the characters in these texts. Did these texts alteration better us in some manner? Of class, literature such as these are to strong and overpowering to be unfazed by them. Virtue was thought to be a simple characteristic easy defined, but it turns out that three writers easy proved us incorrect.

Plants Cited

Behn, Aphra. & # 8220 ; The Unfortunate Happy Lady: A True History. & # 8221 ;

Hypertext transfer protocol: //www.pemberley.com/janeinfo/bhnufhpl.html

Burney, Frances. Evelina. Ed. Susan Kubica Howard. North America: Broadview

Literary. 2000.

Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. Ed. D.L. MacDonald and Kathleen Scherf. North

America. Broadview Literary. 1999.