Charlotte Bronte’s novel Jane Eyre embraces many feminist views in opposition to the Victorian feminine ideal. Charlotte Bronte herself was among the first feminist writers of her time, and wrote this book in order to send the message of feminism to a Victorian-Age Society in which women were looked upon as inferior and repressed by the society in which they lived. This novel embodies the ideology of equality between a man and woman in marriage, as well as in society at large. As a feminist writer, Charlotte Bronte created this novel to support and spread the idea of an independent woman who works for herself, thinks for herself, and acts of her own accord. Women of the Victorian era were repressed, and had little if any social stature.
In the nineteenth century men and women were subjects of patriarchal societies and as such fit into the particular gender associated roles. Men were considered to be in control and were often professionals. Women, on the other hand, were supposed to be pious and domestic—the “hostage in the home” (Welter 43). Both Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “the Yellow Wallpaper” and Barbara Welter’s “The Cult of True Womanhood: 1820-1860” reflect the suppressed life that American women were forced to live. Gilman’s narrator suffers from the patriarchal construct of her society but in the end shows that the cult of true womanhood can be broken through.
Considering the status of women in the late nineteenth century, Louise Mallard is a sympathetic character; she represents the oppression of women and the futility of asserting female identity in a patriarchal society. Kate Chopin’s works explore female identity in a patriarchal society and place emphasis on women’s self-worth. In Louisiana, where Chopin lived at the time, wives were considered to be the lawful property of their husbands. They were bound to serve and love their husbands with no way of being independent without social stigma forcing them to be submissive. It is important to note that her stories were written before the feminist movement of the late nineteenth century began.
Reading Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre through a feminist perspective reveals Jane’s fight for independence, individuality, and equality in a society controlled and dominated by men. Before Jane’s situation can be dissected thoroughly, however, one has to put the Victorian era into perspective. In Victorian England the woman’s main purpose was to “serve others…please her husband and society,” (Barrera, “Etiquette of a Victorian Lady”). As well women were for years the managers of the household and, therefore, confined to it and all of its duties. Even the clothing that women wore served only to emphasize the womanly parts and the “separation from the world of work” (Abrams, “Ideals of Womanhood in Victorian Britain”).
According to Wan, the story of an hour is a true depiction of representation of women in the nineteenth century when movements against oppression of women began to emerge (170). Although the outcomes were not as tragic as depicted in the story, it was obviously a journey filled with many challenges, and the fact that a viable resolve is yet to be achieved to date shows the issue of gender equality is grim. In conclusion, “The story of an hour” is a clear depiction that women status in the society determines the choices they make about their lives. In this work, Chopin depicts a woman as a lesser being without identity or voices of their own. They are expected to remain in oppressive marriages and submit to their husbands without question.
Women were seen as the underlings, the inferior sex in society. Their domestic sphere was a cultural expression of the female world a way of living. The overall role and ... ... middle of paper ... ... faithful preparations of the ground over, many years and the militant campaigners revolutionising the stereotyped image of women, the war alone would not have produced the crop.. The suffrage movement was a combination of the peaceful methods of the suffragists and the militant methods of the suffragettes. Without one another the full effects would not have been gained.
“Women’s movement spoke of moral purity, whereas feminists emphasized rights and self-development” (Norton et al. 555). Although feminists took a more demanding and formidable approach to achieve their goals, they still held on to the gentler side of their sexuality. “Charlotte Perkins Gilman, author of Women and Economics (1898) is a major figure and one of the most influential feminists in this social evolution. She argued that roles as domestic servants have become obsolete” (Norton et al.
There is a prevalent desire in history to determine the right place for women in society, especially as the modern period ushers out the end of the Victorian era, though women have existed as the counterpart to man for all time. John Stuart Mill’s The Subjection of Women as a pedagogic composition will be used for better understanding the nature and predicaments of Thomas Hardy’s Sue Bridehead as she determines her place in society in his novel Jude the Obscure. Mill’s essay explores the basis of social institutions which encourage and reinforce the subordination of women as the weaker gender to highlight the inherent wrongness of this practice. As Mill’s essay describes the existence of female intelligence and individuality that is constantly suppressed, Hardy presents his female protagonist Sue Bridehead as a woman entirely unique for her time and place in society. Sue Bridehead’s nature and way of life conflicts with what society prescribes her to be as a woman, as she tries to balance living happily without social pressures infringing on her individuality.
Through this work, Gilman expressed her inner frustrations with the servitude women had to endure in their marriages during that time period, and she advocated her own brand of Emersonian non-conformity for women. By taking such a profoundly dismal outlook on married life, Gilman hoped to inspire other women to seek new roles not only in the domestic, but also public, arena. "The Yellow Wall-Paper" represents to a large degree what the feminist movement of the late 19th century was about, and by analyzing both the story and context of its creation, it becomes apparent the type of interpretation Gilman made of Emerson's work "Self-Reliance." Although "The Yellow Wall-Paper" focuses on a wife's sudden decline into madness, the story brings forth a very important issue - that of women's roles not only in domestic life, but in society as well. It becomes abundantly apparent even from the first few lines of the story that the wife's views concern her place in the marr... ... middle of paper ... ..." written nearly half a century earlier, but wished to apply it to women in order to achieve a similar greatness through liberation.
In the late 1800s, women were considered to be brought up under male superiority. Women were not required to have a decent education or seek a professional career, their expectation was strictly revolved in the interest of their home and family. In addition after marriage, women had embodied a purpose as a wife to have little to any rights: women could not keep their own wages, own property titled under their name, or sign a legal document. As of this, women developed an alternative method of expression which was writing. “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin, and “Roman Fever” by Edith Wharton are core examples of this attempt, and assisted the audience to interpret the voice and position of women by exhibiting their perspective of women by pointing out the prolonging cruel and unjust treatment men applied over them and the social complexity that pressure women to make misleading choices.