Beauty Of A Slave Girl Essay

Beauty Of A Slave Girl Essay

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Performing gender through particular masculine or feminine actions is one of the techniques used to differentiate the sexes from one another. Specifically for women, femininity is a very important way of fitting into a community properly. The focus of femininity and the pressure it puts onto women greatly impacts the individual lives as well as the progression of the American identity as a whole. Since both "The Scarlet Letter" as well as "Life of a Slave Girl" were both set in the 1800 's, both texts display many of the same feminine traits for both main female characters. Some general expectations of women in order to be considered feminine include the need for them to be submissive to men, motherly and selfless to children as well being morally stable. These expectations create a very narrow way of living that these women have to comply with in order to be considered valuable members of their community. Consequences of these women not adequately doing so would involve the outcast being used as an example for the rest of the women of the community how not to behave. These beliefs of American women and their femininity impact not only the individual but the country as a whole and how the American identity changes. Since gender roles are extremely concrete, the binary between men and women force women to be feminine and the men to be masculine. These extremes cause men to be viewed as more dominant while creating women to be seen as more submissive, thus allowing men the right to have power and control over their female counterpart. This form of treatment of women allows for the American identity to be based on commodity, which stems from the property of women.
Although many of these traits seem to be superficial, qualities incl...


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...as proves the inequality that was between the abilities of men and women. When compared to Linda, Hester 's experience with being considered the property of a man was slightly different because she was not a slave, but as a woman, Hester was still considered property to her husband. "Thou and thine, Hester Prynne, belong to me. My home is where thou art, and where he is." (Hawthorne 68). Her husband had the belief that Hester genuinely thought that she belonged to him in the same way as a material good. This way of thinking and the reliance of acquiring property and owning materialistic goods in order to be seen as more thriving is still present.. Although laws have legally changed so that people cannot own another person, the idea of gaining personal growth through possessions has constructed America to be reliant on the prosperity that came with ownership of goods.

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