Representation of Women by Four Authors

1228 Words5 Pages
Men and women have different life experiences, the writing of male and female authors will differ, as well. Some people believe that male authors are not able to write accurately from the female perspective or present feminist ideals because they have not experienced life as women. When writing about women it is possible that authors will describe them differently depending on gender and culture. But, there are cases were male authors can illustrate women representing the stereotypical female. To explore these issues, I have studied the representation of women in four novels: two novels from male writers, Henry James and Ernest Hemingway, and two novels by female writers, Kate Chopin and Sandra Cisneros.

In Henry James’ novels, female characters focus their attention on an idea they feel they could figure out or achieve if only they could dedicate their intellectual abilities to it with adequate understanding or tolerance. Much of the plot of Daisy Miller turns on the narrator’s effort at understanding the puzzle of others’ lives, determining the degree to which the female characters understand their own fate, and deciding to which he should refuse judgement on them, and on himself. James wrote Daisy Miller after hearing how some European socialites spoke with dislike against the behaviors, lack of culture, and lack of social status of people who have recently acquired wealth who were trying to come into contact with rich aristocracies. The novella compares the rigid social laws of Europe and the independent, eccentric spirit of a young American woman. Daisy Miller has been considered as a typical American woman. James used this story to deliver a message of how society views an individual who has just come from somewhere else...

... middle of paper ...

...riarchal societies and by creating positive female characters. In James’ novel Daisy Miller, the character focused her attention on an idea she felt she could figured out or achieved if only she could devoted her spirit or intellectual faculties to it with sufficient understanding or patience. Chopin was not afraid to propose that women want something that they were not normally allowed to have, such as autonomy. Hemingway describes a woman who loves completely a man and that love and respect that she has makes her be a stereotypical woman. Cisneros illustrated Cleofila as being unhappy and her passive acceptance of suffering for love that she learns as she grows up makes her especially vulnerable to her abusive husband. Finally, throughout my research, I kept in mind that gender is socially constructed. It represents accepted ideas about what it means to be female.
Open Document