The Changes in the Role of Women throughout Different Eras

1396 Words6 Pages
The role of women changes tremendously throughout several eras. Women in the Puritan era are restricted to most rights in which men have, while women in the 1920s are more independent and rebellious against communal standing. In the Puritan era, the rights of women are from dreadfully restrictive to none. Puritan women are personified to be women who continually do what they are told, otherwise known as being “the good wife.” Later in the Victorian era, women began to feel imprisoned because they have such limited rights, more freedom than those of the Puritans, however. Women in the Victorian era start to explore their sexuality and share it; for example, prostitutes become popular in this time period. In the 1920’s, women give a new name to themselves by completely separating from the role of the loyal wife, completely embracing their sexuality and not afraid to flaunt it. Thus, from the early Puritan era to the 1920’s, women progressively transform from wallflowers to self-advocates and attain a stronger social position in a world dominated by man through acquiring the freedom to express their sexuality, expand feminist ideas, and provide stability for economic equality. This revolution is evident in The Crucible, The Yellow Wallpaper, and The Great Gatsby. In the Puritan era, women cannot express themselves or have any rights or equality amongst men. Men in Puritan times do not view women as equals, consequently giving women less rights than men. Giles Corey from The Crucible by Arthur Miller believes that women should not develop their own thoughts because, according to Corey and other Puritan men, women’s thoughts are unintelligent and, therefore, dangerous. Corey shares this idea by saying, “Martha, my wife. I have walked a... ... middle of paper ... ...erican History, Vol. 61, No. 2, Sep. 1974: 372-393. Organization of American Historians. JSTOR. Web. 16 March 2014. Gilman, Charlotte Parkins. “The Yellow Wallpaper.” The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Ed. Nina Baym. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2012. 792-804. Print. Kerber, Linda K. “Can a Woman Be an Individual? The Limits of Puritan Tradition in the Early Republic.” Texas Studies in Literature and Language, Vol. 25, No. 1, The Puritan Imagination in Nineteenth-Century America, Spring 1983: 165-178. University of Texas Press. JSTOR. Web. 16 March 2014. Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. London: Penguin Classics, 2003. Print. Mumm, Susan. “’Not Worse than Other Girls’: The Convent-Based Rehabilitation of Fallen Women in Victorian Britain.” Journal of Social History, Vol. 29, No.3, Spring 1996: 527-546. Oxford University Press. JSTOR. Web. 16 March 2014.
Open Document