Gender Roles in Chopin's 'Desiree's Baby' and 'A Point at Issue' Many female writers write about women's struggle for equality and how they are looked upon as inferior. Kate Chopin exhibits her views about women in her stories. The relationship between men and women in Kate Chopin's stories imply the attitudes that men and women portray. In many of Chopin's works, the idea that women's actions are driven by the men in the story reveals that men are oppressive and dominant and women are vulnerable, gullable and sensitive. Chopin also shows that females, like Desiree and Eleanor, undergo a transformation from dependent and weak to stronger women free from their husbands by the end of the story.
Her craze for the wallpaper begins when she imagines a woman behind the bars, and eventually leads to her ripping the woman and the wallpaper off the walls completely, symbolizing her exit from oppression. The narrator’s eventual insanity was the result of the repression brought on by the patriarchic society and the suppression of her imaginative power. The authoritative voices of her husband and other doctors urge her to be voiceless and passive. John’s assumption of his own superior knowledge and maturity leads him to misjudge and control his wife, all in the name of helping her. He did not realize the severity of her condition and instructed her to instead take a break with the country air and so he isolates her.
She blamed Bertie for his father’s death because of the embarrassment he bestowed upon Albert. Victoria wrote about Bertie in her diary saying, “I never can or shall look at him without a shudder.” Victoria became fixated on her children’s happenings following Albert’s death. She would hire spies to watch after her them. Victoria disapproved of everything her children did, often calling them out on their wrongdoings. The would-be grand affair of the marriage between the Prince of Wales and Princess Alexandra was lessened to a quiet affair and a depressing event because of the Queen’s disapproval.
The idea and characteristics of gender, relate to the specific differences men and women deliver to society and the unique qualities and roles each demonstrate. The term ‘Femininity’ refers to the range of aspects and womanly characteristics the female represents. The foundation of femininity creates and brings forth many historical and contemporary issues. According to Mary Wollstonecraft in ‘A Vindication of the Rights of Woman’, women’s femininity is considered a flaw of nature. Throughout the paper, history indicates how women are viewed and looked upon in a male dominated world which hinders a woman’s potential, her character, her mind, her dreams, her femininity.
The thing they request is all about equality among two genders, be... ... middle of paper ... ... instead of repressive advices (ironically) of a male. Therefore, a woman may reach the full development. To sum up, The Yellow Wallpaper has many crucial points which can be clarified in the light of feminist approach. The story which shows a woman’s struggle to create her own identity and a man’s struggle to keep his power over woman reveals the breaking of taboos through writing. Whereas the story criticizes the woman’s suppressed role in patriarchal society, later on it promotes the woman’s status by breaking the male hegemony at the end of the story.
In addition, Women were depicted as symbols of lust, seduction, and evil who bring destruction to men, undermining the true values of women. Furthermore, Women were expected to remain loyal to men while men have no expectation for themselves which promoted gender inequality. Exemplified by these three elements, it is evident that The Odyssey is a misogynistic text depicting a society where women occupy subservient and inferior positions. The Odyssey exemplifies a society organized and controlled by men where males consistently treated women unequally depriving them of true freedom. Homer’s male characters often saw women as second-hand citizens who had not true voice in society.
Patriarchy, Power, Property Through feminist theory we experience this story as something greater than a tragic slavery narrative; instead we can examine how power intersects with gender in producing a woman’s experience. Valerie Martin’s novel Property explores the continuous struggle for attaining power and the complexities in the moral structure of society, which rests upon the oppression of women in a patriarchal society. These societies consist of “any culture that privileges men by promoting traditional gender roles” (Tyson 85), roles that have been used to validate the inequalities between men and women. Patriarchy by definition is sexist, promoting the belief that women are innately inferior to men. This dichotomized thought has created a patriarchal order within all western (Anglo-European) worlds, objectifying and marginalizing women and only seeing them for what they lack in comparison to men (Tyson 92).
Influential female characters in literature reflect the struggle for equality women have with men. Much like reality, these characters seek individualism and liberty from, or equality with, men in a society dominated by men. These seekers are called feminists and many feminists see Charlotte Bronte’s titular character Jane Eyre as a proto-feminist icon of the Victorian era. Not only does Jane Eyre show the struggle of one woman under one man it represents the struggle of women in a male-dominated society. Reading Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre through a feminist perspective reveals Jane’s fight for independence, individuality, and equality in a society controlled and dominated by men.
Although she too is insulted by Hamlet because of her femininity (“get thee to a nunnery, why wouldst thou be a breeder of sinners?” (3.1.313-314)), she is a weak character because of her family structure (a brother and a father) and the men in her life. Hamlet and Polonius have such a significant power on her character and her life that her death is the very result of these two men. Shakespeare makes Ophelia an unfortunate character, whose demise comes from actually obeying her father’s wishes. Furthermore, while Hamlet is sexist towards his mother, Gertrude either intentionally or mistakenly saves her son’s life by drinking from the poisoned pearl cup. She goes against her husband’s warning, “Gertrude, do not drink / I will I beg you pardon me,” (5.2.287-88) and for the first time in the play, gains confidence to act according to her own will.
In, Body Work by Sara Paretsky, the Guaman family’s homophobia damages their family by causing both Allie’s rape and death, and the covering up of them. Homophobia manages to cause all of this damage because it is a powerful social control mechanism, meaning it leads individuals towards conformity, and shames and or ostracizes those who don’t conform to the societal norm. In this case, the societal norm is heterosexuality, and homosexuals are shamed and ostracized for deviating from that norm. Allie is ashamed of being a lesbian and decides to serve in Iraq in the hope that she can repent for her “sins,” and her family is so ashamed of her homosexuality that they must deny it, which allows Tintrey to cover up the truth behind Allie’s death. Shame arises from many different sources.