Feminist Criticism In Merna Summers's The Skating Party

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A feminist lens analyzes how the female characters and their experiences are presented and explained in comparison to male characters (Lincoln School Providence). Merna Summers’ “The Skating Party” develops and demonstrates feminist themes in the ways in which the characters’ experiences, expectations, and lives are represented. Applying feminist critique unravels and deconstructs perceptions that shape and normalize the experiences of women in Willow Bunch while demonstrating the objectification and submission, standards of beauty, and ownership and empowerment that occur within the story. The objectification and submission of Delia by Uncle Nathan is demonstrated when Uncle Nathan’s misconceptions lead him to wonder why Delia isn’t married when she introduces herself as “Delia Sykes” (6). He later continues to say that he “wonder[s] why she [didn’t] [introduce] herself as Mrs. Sykes” while in that time the “girls didn’t do that” (6). This example of objectification and submission highlights how women are seen as property in which they must allow…show more content…
This is also shown when Maida feels as though “Uncle Nathan could still pick out a girl and marry her” (4). The term “pick out a girl’ (4) implies that women are simply chosen and selected to be married without any thought being put into it. Also, Maida continues to say that she “[feels] that way about women” but she “never [thinks] of men that way” (4) when she wonders why Uncle Nathan wasn’t married as of yet, implying that it’s usual for men to still be interested in marriage at an older age, whereas women become continuously undesirable as they age. Furthermore, the reoccurring standard of beauty is evident when Uncle Nathan continues to compare Eunice and Delia as he states that “[Eunice] [is] prettier than Delia” and that she didn’t seem to be “the sort of girl to need anyone’s help in finding a husband” (7).
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