Madness is subjective, especially so in a time period where women’s emotions and thoughts were brushed off as unimportant. In The Awakening, Kate Chopin explores the inner life of a woman, lost in the patriarchal world and without anyone who truly understands her. Edna Pontellier’s supposed madness plays a large part in her characterization as a woman who has lost her way. However, Edna’s madness is not truly madness; it stems from a neglectful husband, crushing responsibility to society, and a sense of the complete isolation. Edna marries her husband, not out of love, but out of expectation of society and her family’s dislike of him.
Ultimately, her fatal flaw resulted in the disintegration of her and her daughter’s future, right before her eyes. The Great Gatsby, the modernist novel, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald maudinly depicts how Daisy Buchanan’s externally-imposed poor self-esteem renders her incapable of developing into the proto-feminist she previously aspired to be and how she employs her influence to pave the same forlorn future for her infant daughter. “Woman must not accept; she must challenge. She must not be awed by that which has been built up around her; she must reverence that woman in her which struggles for expression.”
She is a conventional housewife who eventually rejects her stifling marriage and her domineering husband. Despite the oppression of a traditional patriarchal society, Nora’s evolving attitude and language portray her transition from Torvald’s doll to a cognizant, independent woman. The beliefs of the modern society oppress Nora and the other women in the play. While Nora is limited by the ingrained social beliefs of the time, she fails to recognize her inferior social position. She is unaware that she, along with Torvald, is bound by these unspoken beliefs.
Annie Deng ENG 101-L80 Essay 1 The Results of Patriarchic Suppression The "Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, is an example of how women were repressed by society in the nineteenth century. The narrator is an upper-middle class woman who is likely to be suffering from post-partum depression, but due to an ineffective cure, she starts to go insane. The narrator’s husband, John, assumed that because he was a physician, he knew best and dominated her actions. She then retreats into her obsession with the wallpaper on the walls, the only thing she can control. Her craze for the wallpaper begins when she imagines a woman behind the bars, and eventually leads to her ripping the woman and the wallpaper off the walls completely, symbolizing her exit from oppression.
Women were to be a representation of love, purity and family; abandoning this stereotype would be seen as churlish living and a depredation of family status. Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" and Henry Isben’s play A Doll's House depict women in the Victorian Era who were very much menial to their husbands. Nora Helmer, the protagonist in A Doll’s House and the narrator in “The Yellow Wallpaper” both prove that living in complete inferiority to others is unhealthy as one must live for them self. However, attempts to obtain such desired freedom during the Victorian Era only end in complications. The central characters in both “The Yellow Wallpaper” and A Doll’s House are fully aware of their niche in society.
In “The Yellow Wallpaper,” the author uses the conventions of the psychological horror tale to critique the position of women within the institution of marriage, especially as practiced by the “respectable” classes of her time. The story reveals that this division in gender had the effect of keeping women in a state of ignorance and preventing their full development. John’s assumption of his own superior wisdom and maturity leads him to misjudge, patronize, and dominate his wife, all in the name of “helping” her. The narrator has no say in even the smallest details of her life, and she retreats into her obsessive fantasy, the only place she can retain some control and exercise the power of her mind. For the author, the conventional nineteenth-century middle-class marriage, with its rigid distinction between the “domestic” functions of a woman and the “active” work of a man, ensured that women remained second-class citizens.
In, The Awakening, Edna fails to uphold the Victorian feminine ideal. During the early stages of Edna’s awakening and after she has been ‘awakened,’ Edna often laments on how different she is from Adèle Ratignolle, (who represents the Victorian feminine... ... middle of paper ... ...re driven to death by the society they live in. In both of the texts, it is the women who must pay for the unfairness in the society that they live in, which is what Chopin is commenting on by implying that death is the only option women have. Chopin highlights how problematic it is that a woman must either renounce her independence/innocence or die, through the stories of Désirée and Edna. Each woman chooses to end her life because she feels as though there is no place for her in society, and thus instead of living in a society that doesn’t accommodate difference, they would rather die.
People don't do such things" (Ibsen 1470). The author depicts Hedda as a neurotic woman who criticizes the actions of others in an attempt to demonstrate her self- imposed superiority over others. Her pretentious comment introduces the theme of a high and mighty character, which readers will begin to hate, who eventually succumbs to the pressure of appearing perfect in society. In the scene where George and Hedda receive news that Mrs. Elvsted, an "old flame" of Tesman, will be visiting, Hedda remembers her as "the one with that irritat... ... middle of paper ... ...er can assume that Hedda commits suicide beautifully, as she hoped Loevborg would do. Her motto of "people don't do such things," proves to be false because her actions are exactly what she says people do not do.
At the beginning of the play, Lady Macbeth is introduced as a dominant, controlling, heartless wife with an obsessive ambition to achieve kingship for her husband. Her weak, sheltered, unsure and unstable condition is only revealed at the end of the play. However, the audience begins to see hints of this hidden nature by the manner in which Macbeth addresses her. Contrary to her supposed ruthless nature, her husband regards her as a pure being. He attempts to shield her from foreign agencies by saying, “Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck,” (III.II.45).
Crystie R. Kampman Professor Battle English Composition 112 20 July 2016 The Oppressed Women of Trifles and The Doll House The dramas Trifles by Susan Glaspell and The Doll House by Henrik Ibsen were written in the late 19th to early 20th Century; a genre representative of socially constructed norms associated to gender roles. During this era economic, political, cultural and social rights encompass male dominance. Female oppression was commonplace; society based a woman’s worth on motherhood and marriage. In the Trifles the men patronize the women, ridiculing their concerns while the women characterize their activity in the house as relatively unimportant. The Doll House focuses on Nora who struggles to become a self-motivated women in a woman-denying man’s world, exemplified by the treatment she experiences from her father, society and husband.