Rebellion toward "Victorian sexual norms and gender roles" (P.2175) are reflected in Woolf's modern literary piece, such as The Lady in the Looking-Glass: A Reflection. Also echoed in the piece, is how Woolf "never lost the keen sense of anguish nor the self-doubt occasioned by the closed doors of the academy to women" (P.2445). Both of the female protagonists, Aurora of Aurora Leigh and Isabella of The Lady in the Looking Glass: A Reflection, represent the rebellion and self-doubt of their female writers. Aurora rebels against the Vi... ... middle of paper ... ...r letters, they were all bills" (P.2456). The rebellion ultimately led to emptiness, as Isabella chose not to have relations to preserve her freedom.
Chopin did not want to imitate Maupassant; she just wanted to express herself in her writing the way he had done so in his. In The Awakening Chopin seems to tell her story through the main character Edna Pontellier. Her breaking away from the conventions of literary domesticity is shown through Edna breaking away from the conventional feminine roles of wife and mother (Showalter 170). Kate Chopin shows boldness by taking the main characters and having them completely change their views on life. Edna is a young woman who discovers that her pampered married life is not what she wants.
Léonce turns the disappointment of the rejection into a reproach of neglected motherly duties. According to Wolff, the true subject of Chopin’s novel, “may be less the particular dilemma of Mrs. Pontellier than the larger problems of female narrative that it reflects; and if Edna’s poignant fate is in part a reflection of her own habits, it is also, in equal part, a measure of society’s failure to allow its women a language of their own” (388).
But rather it is, “… about a woman whose shaping culture has, in general, refused her the right to speak out freely” (381). Here Wolff’s new historicist concerns provide not only an accurate backdrop, but a greater thematic interest. The novel is not just about Edna’s repression of her sexual feelings, but also about her societ... ... middle of paper ... ...It is a fascinating and moving affirmation that Chopin is able to convey the success of feminine discourse through the trial and failure of her hopeless yet heroic character. However, given the bad reviews and the lack of attention her novel received, would it not also be the case that Chopin, like her character, failed to find an audience?
Edna's relationship with Robert, and her rejection of the role dictated to her by society, resulted in her perceiving suicide to be the only solution to her problems. Critics of Kate Chopin's The Awakening tend to read the novel as the dramatization of a woman's struggle to achieve selfhood--a struggle doomed failure either because the patriarchal conventions of her society restrict freedom, or because the ideal of selfhood that she pursue is a masculine defined one that allows for none of the physical and undeniable claims which maternity makes upon women. Ultimately. in both views, Edna Pontellier ends her life because she cannot have it both ways: given her time, place, and notion of self, she cannot be a mother and have a self. (Simons) Edna Pontellier could not have what she wanted.
Her time period consisted of other female authors that focused on the same central theme during the era: exposing the unfairness of the patriarchal society, and women’s search for selfhood, and their search for identity. In Chopin’s novel The Awakening, she incorporates the themes mentioned above to illustrate the veracity of life as she understood it. A literary work approached by the feminist critique seeks to raise awareness of the importance and higher qualities of women. Women in literature may uncover their strengths or find their independence, raising their own self recognition. Several critics deem Chopin as one of the leading feminists of her age because she was willing to publish stories that dealt with women becoming self-governing, who stood up for themselves and novels that explored the difficulties that they faced during the time.
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.
Kate Chopin The Awakening To what extent does Edna Pontellier, in Kate Chopin's The Awakening, mark a departure from the female characters of earlier nineteenth-century American novels The Awakening was published in 1899, and it immediately created a controversy. Contemporaries of Kate Chopin (1851-1904) were shocked by her depiction of a woman with active sexual desires, who dares to leave her husband and have an affair. Instead of condemning her protagonist, Chopin maintains a neutral, non-judgmental tone throughout and appears to even condone her character's unconventional actions. Kate Chopin was socially ostracised after the publication of her novel, which was almost forgotten until the second half of the twentieth century. The Awakening has been reclaimed by late twentieth-century theorists who see Edna Pontellier as the prototypical feminist.
Frankenstein was written du... ... middle of paper ... ...the female characters act as submissive recipients who have little importance to society. Thus, according to Frankenstein and Candide, we can see how feminism represents the oppression of women in both the culture and time period in which the novels were written. In Frankenstein, the role of the women characters was insignificant, thus having a minimal influence on the plot. After they fulfilled their duties in their domestic sphere, they were discarded. Likewise, in Candide, Voltaire expressed the obstacles women faced and demonstrated the conditions of 18th century Europe and the dangers it was to be a woman at that time.
Jane Eyre as Feminist Role Model for all Women In 1837 critic Robert Southey wrote to Charlotte Bronte, "Literature cannot be the business of a woman's life, and it ought not to be. The more she is engaged in her proper duties, the less leisure will she have for it, even as an accomplishment and a recreation," (Gaskell 102). This opinion was not held by only one person, but by many. Indeed, it is this attitude, one that debases women and their abilities, to which Charlotte Bronte responds with Jane Eyre. The purpose of Jane Eyre, not only the novel, but also the character herself as a cultural heroine, is to transform a primeval society, one which devalues women and their contributions, into a nobler order of civilization (Craig 57).