Oppression of Women: Three Stories

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Throughout history and literature women have been second to men. In the books we have looked at throughout the duration of high school, even the most powerful and influential women are often placed under men. The women’s actions and thoughts are often looked down on by others, despite the men having often performed worse actions than they have. This drives across the idea of imbalance among the sexes and pushes the idea of women being inferior to men into the reader’s mind, whether or not it is picked up. This theme comes up throughout each book either more relevant throughout the entire storyline or simply in a moment. Each way it comes across it shows this idea of imbalance. Primarily through a feminist lense in Madame Bovary, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and The Stranger women are shown to be inferior to men through individual relationships and societies’ views on them. In each storyline the women’s actions are viewed negatively by individuals or themselves based on how their society has shown them to think. In the first of the three books, Madame Bovary, Emma is ridiculed for her actions by the other women around her. In a society where women are expected to act properly, like Catherine Leroux who worked “fifty-four years of the same service” and only expect a “silver medal” under men, Emma’s actions are made out to seem unjustifiable (Flaubert Part 2 Chapter 8). When Emma has spent all of her and Charles’ money she is trapped. She is stuck in a situation where she can search for help from someone to save her from the debt or tell Charles “it [was her] … who [ruined him]” through losing all of their belongings (Part 3 Chapter 7). When Emma searches only to help the cause by trying to keep their possessions she is mocked... ... middle of paper ... ...shes the inferior aspect of women in this book. From the ideas pushed across in these books through characters and relationships we can see women being pushed down as the inferior sex to men. In the grand scheme of all the novels it creates the image of women not being as powerful as men. These stories greatly reflect the real world and how in the past women have been viewed inferior to men. They show how society affects individuals minds to believe this is true and we often fall subject to this evil without a second thought. The future only holds one path and as a society we should aim for direct equality among both males and females. Works Cited Flaubert, Gustave. Madame Bovary. Trans. Eleanor Marx-Aveling. Paris: Revue De Paris, 1857. The Literature Network. Web. 21 Jan. 2014. .
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