Eliot’s tragic character remains a haunting image of the consequences of physical beauty untempered by a firm sense of morality and fed by consuming vanity. Eliot’s comparison clearly illustrates “proper” feminine beauty. Dinah’s beauty leads to marriage and motherhood; Hetty’s, to moral transgression, murder, and eventual death. However, Dinah is so idealized that she loses the level of realism that Eliot so deftly created within many of her other characters, and the reader is not without sympathy for Hetty, whose fall appears to be precipitated by a common enough form of young feminine vanity. These examples speak volumes toward the practicality of conventions that demanded feminine perfection in both appearance and action.
Though many of the leading female characters in Jane Austen’s novels seem to emphasize the gender stereotype of the 18th century woman, Northanger Abbey’s Catherine Moreland displays strong feminist tones. Several critics might agree that Catherine Moreland is most often described as a submissive young lady confined to society. However, coming from a society that desired their women to be mostly docile, Catherine openly expresses her opinions and moods. The dominance of her views and her ability to be able to share her thoughts straightforwardly, makes Catherine a feminist character. In an even more drastic effort, Catherine imparts onto Henry Tilney how to divert himself from societal limitations and voice his own opinions.
The concept of brotherhood is an underlying one in myriad works of the Victorian era. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle highlights a classic image of brotherhood in his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes and his partner Dr. Watson, but ultimately identifies its shortcomings through the introduction of women who directly influence Holmes and Watson. Similarly, Matthew Arnold expands on the elusiveness of brotherhood and comments on its impossibility by emphasizing the ubiquity of isolation. Friedrich Engels offers a melding of the two by commenting on the unfeasibility of brotherhood when England is so strictly divided between the poor and the middle and upper classes. The three authors ultimately convey that brotherhood is desirable but fleeting, though they each highlight disparate reasons for this conclusion.
When we are first introduced to Iphigenie, she laments her life as a woman, and contrasts it with the life of a man. Goethe's Iphigenia in Tauris abounds with references to gender roles: behavioral norms considered appropriate for an individual based on their gender. However, while Iphigenie is portrayed as the epitome of a feminine being (compassionate, gentle, pure/devout, honest and effective at communicating1), her interactions with the male characters challenge the construct of traditional gender roles. Instead of being limited by her femininity, Iphigenie proves herself to embody characteristics that are considered quintessentially male traits (assertiveness, rationality, and resolve2) to a greater extent than the male characters in the play. Thus, Iphigenia in Tauris can be read as an argument against the idea of strict gender expectations.
Emily epitomizes the superego because of the stress she places on moral standards. Through careful examination, one can see that the characters in Gilmore Girls represent Sigmund Freud’s id, ego, and superego. Lorelai Gilmore demonstrates the id because of her rash decision-making and conscious drive for her own happiness. Whether she does so by disregarding other’s requests, or by not considering their feelings. Next, Rory Gilmore’s logical approach to problem-solving shows that she best symbolizes the ego.
However, this focus on subjectivity also emphasises the unreliable female narration of the Penelopiad. Conflict between these female characters reinforces values imposed within the Odyssey. Penelope’s interaction with other women demonstrates her compliance with Homeric ideas about class and gender. To a major extent, the
The presence of Hygd and Modthryt is included to address the proper behavior of women. By using uplifting and hostile diction as well as contrasting the image of Queen Hygd to Queen Modthryt, Beowulf highlights the ideal representation of women in the Anglo-Saxon hierarchy. The differences portrayed in these women advocate the importance of maintaining traditional gender roles in order to conserve a functional society
Fiction of Jane Austen’s period treated its characters as moral exemplars, as well as imaginary human beings. One quality that distinguishes Austen’s work from her contemporaries is that she allows her “exemplary” characters to have flaws. In what ways is Elizabeth Bennet exemplary, and in what ways is she flawed? Compare her to other characters in Pride and Prejudice as you develop your answer. .
Emma's Management of Harriet's Affairs in Jane Austen's Emma In this novel, Jane Austen uses the relationship between Emma and Harriet to highlight the important issues. She uses Emma's management of Harriet to do this. She creates contrast between Emma and Harriet, she portrays Emma as beautiful and intelligent though we can still see faults in her personality. The main fault is her desire to control people and matchmake them. This also raises issues, including the position of women and Emma's social status, marriage and comedy which is shown through irony, especially in the relationship between Emma and Harriet.
In effect, Elizabeth represents both aspects of the novel's title, being both proud and prejudicial. It is not these factors, then, that endear her to readers, but rather the depth of her character in that she develops into a more even-minded person with a rare capacity for self-awareness. For though at one time she has the highest regard for Mr. Wickham and a low opinion of Mr. Darcy, later, though it is her "greatest misfortune" (Austen 61), Elizabeth amends her former thinking by "feeling that she had been blind, partial, prejudiced and absurd" (135). It is evident that she matures into a fully developed woman who can admit, "'Till this moment, I never knew myself'" (135, emphasis mine). Mr. Darcy is truly an enigma.