They are bound to their husbands, valued as 'peace weavers';, admired for their physical beauty, and have no power except the small influence they may have on their powerful husbands. Both Lanval and Beowulf show the bleak reality of the life of the subservient powerless women with few differences. Beowulf is written in a male perspective. The mention of women is few and far between. The mere fact that they play such a minor role in this story is a good indication that women are not very important to this society.
Penelope is physically and emotionally loyal to Odysseus, while Odysseus is only emotionally loyal, meaning he has had sexual relations with other women within the twenty years he has been gone. During this time period in Greek culture, this was not frowned upon and was quite normal, suggesting that women were held to a different standard than men. In addition, as Penelope is presumed to be a widow, at least by the suitors, she is prized solely for her beauty. The suitors speak only of her beauty and none of her intelligence or of her personality or soul. This suggests that marriage was not always about love, and that women were judged and valued merely for their beauty.
As Gilman explains through the male character Van, "Those 'feminine charms' we are so fond of are not feminine at all, but mere reflected masculinity developed to please us because they had to please us, and in no way essential to the real fulfillment of their great process" (p59). In the same way, stereotypes about men can be thrown up as well. Gilman shows the reader that if people stop basing their identities on what others want, they will no longer be slaves to limitations. They will be free to discover their true selves and will allow others to do the same. Gilman shows readers that men and women are distinct people, but reminds us that they are people first.
The Roman people see Cleopatra as threatening primarily because of her beauty and open sexuality. Enobarbus captures the essence of Cleopatra in his proclamation in Act II.ii.236-241: "Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale Her infinite variety: other wome... ... middle of paper ... ...ip is heaped onto Octavia, a minor female character. This shows that women were not held in as high regard as men in their time. Heloise holds tight to the Old Testament views of femininity where women are under the authority of men. These beliefs are in turn the ones that show through in the text.
She is a vapid beauty and completely obsequious to whomever she happens to belong to at the time. However, Voltaire does not blame her foolish naiveté on her femininity. Candide himself is terribly innocent and is unable to make decisions without the advice of a third party. In a way, Cunegonde accepts her situation in life better than Candide does. She knows that as a woman in the eighteenth century she has few options if she wishes to survive and she is not above using her beauty to her advantage.
A feminist woman will recognize her desires and refuse to depend on a man for their fulfillment. In like manner, Catherine Morland differs from her female peers in her tendencies to assume society designated male qualities. She acts with intelligence, self-confidence and ambition, a stark contrast to the docile, compliant females of her community. Although Catherine develops favorably from her boyish adolescence, she never achieves stunning beauty, but rath... ... middle of paper ... ... also as a female she’s defying her culture in being the one to select the partner. Although the general realizes later that his notions on the Morland family were false, Catherine still carries the satisfaction of singlehandedly realizing the desires that so blatantly oppose societal norms.
Anne Elliot is very effeminate and upholds the ideal women of the time but with extra character, that separates her from her sister, Elizabeth, who is more masculine in nature and is often described similarly to the father. She uses the effeminate nature of Anne to bring the masculine Wentworth to his senses and accept femininity for what it’s worth. Jane Eyre is very different due to the fact that she only gains what she wants through her more masculine traits. She only gets her happy ending by becoming more masculine and finally being able to overpower her debilitated lover Mr. Rochester. Both women, in the end, have parallel endings in which they marry the man that they are in love with but the endings are very dissimilar in every other aspect.
Although everyone is not competitive, everyone wants to have a happy marriage, but competitiveness is part of human nature and varies between men and women. The feeling of competitiveness is natural, but the intensity of the characteristics depends on how the parents raised their child. If the parents are competitive their children will most likely inherit that trait; as it is a learned characteristic. Regardless, everyone is in competition with each other because they are all part of the same dating game and who will end up with whom? Men are naturally more competitive than women and tend to go for the more appealing women.
The main characters, Jo and her mother Helen are not the typical 'straight-laced ' characters that were often seen in the kitchen-sink dramas of that time and represented with strong, independent personalities that aided the development of the new woman. Helen is a single mother who believes desperately that she needs a man to make her life easy and uses her sexuality to get ahead in life, dragging her daughter through her own disastrous relationships one after the other. Despite Helen 's apparent need for men, she does not confine herself the expectations that society and her own daughter have for her. Remarkably, Helen seems to be in control of how she takes advantage of the men in her life and to what extent she depends on them to use her. It is clear that she only sees men as way to find financial satisfactio and is open about her interest for the contents of their pockets over an emotional relationship.
1.) Female Modesty is defined as a woman’s respect for a "power within" that makes it virtually impossible for men to comingle with women, treating them as sex objects. This Power replaces having to wear elaborate jewelry or seductive clothing. It is something in side that men find, only when they have shown to the woman that they are worthy of being revealed of her true self. According to Shalit, female modesty is very powerful and has the ability of greatly influencing our society when she gives the example of the temperance movement slogan, "Lips that touch liquor shall never touch mine."