Behind a Mask Social Concerns

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In Behind a Mask, Alcott explores women's issues through the character Jean Muir and her relationships with the Coventry family, members of the English gentry. Jean enters the sumptuous Coventry household in the role of a meek, black-clad governess, to take up duties with the sixteen-year-old Bella. Upon her arrival, Jean tells her employers that she is nineteen, of Scotch descent, has "not a relation in the world," and was dismissed from the hospital "only a week ago." Actually, the reader soon learns, Jean is a thirtyish, vengeful, divorced ex-actress from Paris, determined to secure her future among the titled class. Privately, she vows: "I'll not fail again if there is power in a woman's wit and will!"

Jean, although intelligent and talented, is not of aristocratic birth, which adds to her limited opportunities as a woman. Hard experience has taught her that if she wants to...

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This section contains 215 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy the Behind a Mask Short Guide
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Behind a Mask from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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