The women choose to conform to society’s expectations of women in the early twentieth century, however; Edna and Nora struggle with who they truly have become inside, until the conflict either consumes them or sets them free. Edna conforms by enduring her husband, Leonce Pontellier; caring for her children and home, and keeping her relationship with Robert discreet throughout the novel. While there is an obvious internal battle between romance, conformity, confusion, and unrealized raw passio... ... middle of paper ... ...alizes that not only can she accept herself, but no one else can, either, and her metamorphosis leaves her imprisoned. Nevertheless, both women realize that they have become something which only society expects of them, nothing that they have selected for themselves. They have become wives and mothers, instead of potentially single, and independent women, and their boxed-in world suffocates them.
Jane decides to oppose the homemaker life and branch out into writing. The feminist role is “The concept of "The New Woman," for example, began to circulate in the 1890s-1910s as women are pushing for broader roles outside the home-roles that could draw on women's intelligence and non-domestic skills and talents” (http:/... ... middle of paper ... ... Jane tears down the wallpaper and separates from her alter ego as a result obtaining her freedom. In conclusion, Jane has been through oppression and depression but she stands up for what she believes in. Jane gains her femininity, socialization, individuality and freedom. Her husband, who has been oppressing her for so many years, is no longer her prison guard.
As mothers, women promoted themselves through their children. Their offspring’s accomplishments were their own. It was one more excuse, Freidan states, for women to forego defining themselves” (Hart 2). Unfortunately, many women thought that there was something wrong with them for not finding complete satisfaction in motherhood and life in suburbia, and they wanted something else to give their life some greater meaning. Baffled by sexism in the workforce, Friedan also remarks on the inconsistency of the changing expectations and the treatment of women in America throughout the twentieth century.
This was especially so for women because the literary rhetoric of reform offered one means of negotiating domesticity's inherent contradiction that women were responsible for national morality but restricted from morality's larger public arenas." (Thompson 131) Social reform was started, and pushed along by women authors like these. They dared to write and publish their stories for the good of their people. Work Cited Mary K. DeShazer. The Longman Anthology of Women's Literature: from Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.
Chopin’s ideology originated from the lessons and wisdom of her great-grandmother who encouraged her to read unconventional concepts: women were capable of obtaining and maintaining a successful career as well as a thriving family and social life. Although The Awakening was widely banned and condemned in national presses, critics cannot deny the underlying theme of sexism and its effect on gender roles. Some critics even suggest there is a distinct correlation between Edna’s character and Chopin herself. According to critics, Kate Chopin encumbers The Awakening with incidents of a single woman's hunger for personal and sexual identity as a mechanism to display Edna Pontellier’s deviations from societal standards. One example of gender criticism Chopin accounts in her writing is the love between the women in the novel which has been suppressed throughout history as “lesbian” encounters in order to uphold male power and privilege (LeBlanc 2).
Instead, Munro makes the reader use more of ones imagination in developing the story. Although Munro is not explicit, the story is about an unhappy relationship between a daughter and mother. In the story the narrator flashes back to a time in Rose's career when she was in a play with her breast exposed. Flo showed her displeasure by writing her a letter that said "shame" and adding that if her father was not already dead, he would wish that he was (Oates 154). Yet, the reader feels that Rose is still trying to earn her mother's respect and love.
The author uses elements of character development, symbolism and theme to portray this perilous struggle for self-fulfillment that inspires readers on many levels. Stetson’s character in The Yellow Wallpaper comes to want more of what her character potentially is. She did not feel self-fulfilled in her domestic role of wife and mother. This contrasted to her sister-in-law Jennie, who is described as a “perfect and enthusiastic housekeeper, and hopes for no better profession.” (p.650) While Stetson’s character happily gives up her domestic functions to Jennie, she is initially passive in her attempt to secure the satisfaction of self-fulfillment: “I did write for a while…. but it does exhaust me a good deal – having to be so sly about it, or else meet with heavy opposition.” (p. 648).
Acceptance of who we are plays a large part in the overall theme of “rite of passage” in the story. The young girl is opposed to the thought of working for her mother at the beginning, but eventually comes to a realization that it is her pre-determined fate to fit the mould of the gender stereotype. Through the girl’s hardships, she accepts the fact that her younger brother, Laird, is now the man that his father needs for help, and she takes her place in womanhood. The story embodies gender identity and stereotypes, as a young child moves into adulthood. The fact that our rite of passage is unavoidable proves that we must all go through our own journeys to find our own true identity.
Edna stays married because divorce was unheard of in those days. She wants to marry Robert, but he will not because it will disgrace her to leave her husband. No matter how much Edna exceeds social boundaries, she is held down by the will of others, despite what she wants. In today's world divorce, sadly, is almost commonplace, but in her time she would have been an outcast of her society. By the end of The Awakening, Edna feels like a possession - of her husband, of her children, and of her society.
The women in the play are strong and independent even in the period where a significant amount of women thought it best to be behind a man letting him run the household. Though ridiculed by the chauvinistic views of Walter Jr. the woman in the younger household do not conform to Walter’s opinions. Walter’s sister Beneatha Younger had an issue with his views and would perpetually argue with her brother concerning his opinion about his mother wife and what she stands for. Hansberry created Beneatha Younger to embody the idealistic role of a young feminist. Through the play, Beneatha is fighting what is expected of her, fighting where she fits in as a class and asserts herself over values of her family and prejudice of society.