Chivalry, formal manners, and traditionTopic: Sone critics have suggested that Miss Emily is a kind of symbol for the Old South, with its outdated ideas of chivalry, formal manners, and tradition....

Chivalry, formal manners, and tradition

Topic: Sone critics have suggested that Miss Emily is a kind of symbol for the Old South, with its outdated ideas of chivalry, formal manners, and tradition. Do you see her also as a victim of these values? Discuss.

i already got the chivalry part done and i have a good idea on the tradition part which is the third body paragraph but i really need help with the formal manners. it wouldnt hurt with ideas on the tradition part seeing that i havnt started it. thanks

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kwoo1213's profile pic

kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted on

The "Old South" has always had a tradition of "proper manners," particularly for ladies.  These formal manners involved sticking to "courting" (what, in present times, is called dating) within one's own social class, dressing demurely and appropriately,using proper table manners, respecting one's elders, etc.  Heavy emphasis was put on ladies to be mindful, respectful, subdued, and conformist.

but i dont understand how Miss. Emily is a "victim" to formal manners and tradition. can you help me understand it more?

Great pressure was put on prominent Southern families to uphold a certain decorum when it came to behaviors, actions, etc.  These families supposedly had a reputation to uphold and if they did not do so, they became the targets of rumors and/or ridicule or admonishment.  Miss Emily had a very strict father who was extremely controlling.  In addition to the pressure she already had on her coming from her family name, she also had to deal with the fact that her father did not want her to have any suitors at all.  He "whipped her into shape," so to speak, when it came to how to act, who to talk to, who not to talk to, etc.  This was, no doubt, a very difficult thing for a young woman to experience, especially since she had no mother or positive female role model to help her deal with the various issues facing young women at the time.

I come from a very small Southern town. My father was a doctor and was well known in our hometown.  He was generous and pleasant and warm--nothing like Miss Emily's father.  However, because my father had a well known reputation in town and was well liked because he treated his patients so well, my family was expected to be a certain way or act a certain way as children of a prominent doctor.  I can vouch for the fact that it IS hard to grow up with those kind of expectations.  My brother and sisters and I all grew up with this issue, and while it may not seem a big burden to many people, it was to us.  It added a lot of pressure to our lives in many ways, but it also helped us be better people in the long run because we did not want to disappoint my father, who was a great man and father.  Emily's father was entirely too controlling and should not have been that way with her.  She was under lock and key most of the time, which is a shame.

kwoo1213's profile pic

kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted on

The "Old South" has always had a tradition of "proper manners," particularly for ladies.  These formal manners involved sticking to "courting" (what, in present times, is called dating) within one's own social class, dressing demurely and appropriately,using proper table manners, respecting one's elders, etc.  Heavy emphasis was put on ladies to be mindful, respectful, subdued, and conformist.

onebadeclipse06's profile pic

onebadeclipse06 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

The "Old South" has always had a tradition of "proper manners," particularly for ladies.  These formal manners involved sticking to "courting" (what, in present times, is called dating) within one's own social class, dressing demurely and appropriately,using proper table manners, respecting one's elders, etc.  Heavy emphasis was put on ladies to be mindful, respectful, subdued, and conformist.

but i dont understand how Miss. Emily is a "victim" to formal manners and tradition. can you help me understand it more?

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