Women were hardly mentioned in the workforce and always held a spot under their husband’s wing. Women were viewed as a calm and caring character in many stories, poems, and novels in the early time period of literature. During the early time period of literature, women who opposed the common role were often times put to shame or viewed as rebels. As literature progresses through the decades and centuries, very little, but noticeable change begins to appear in perspective to the common role of women. Women were more often seen as a main character in a story setting as the literary period advanced.
Several critics deem Chopin as one of the leading feminists of her age because she was willing to publish stories that dealt with women becoming self-governing, who stood up for themselves and novels that explored the difficulties that they faced during the time. Chopin scrutinized sole problems and was not frightened to suggest that women desired something that they were not normally permitted to have: independence. Chopin’s decision to focus on and emphasize the imbalances between the sexes is heavily influenced by her upbringing, her feelings towards society, and the era she subsisted in. How Chopin was raised and educated not only inspired her but it also assisted her wi... ... middle of paper ... ...sed her emotions and thoughts on life during the period. Authors like Chopin helped people realize what was going on during the 1800s.
What is Feminism? How does feminism affect the world we live in today? Was feminism always present in history, and if so why was it such a struggle for women to gain the respect they rightly deserve? Many authors are able to express their feelings and passions about this subject within their writing. When reading literary works, one can sense the different feminist stages depending on the timeframe that the writing takes place.
Many today would characterize Little Women as just chic lit, but when looking through the lenses of history and the past and at the culture that made up the United States at that time, it becomes clear that this book is more of a satire of the young women’s literature of the era. Little Women is a coming of age story about the March girls, and their journey of growing up into proper young, civilized women, during the civil war. Little Women was originally written and published in two separate volumes, since the second volume was written as a sequel to the first. The second volume of Little Women was written as a hidden satire on the entire genre of young women literature, Alcott at the time was frustrated by her publisher and wrote second volume as a satire of what the publishers wanted, and by completely rejecting the over used literary tropes of her era. Alcott than used her skills as a gothic writer by slowly torturing Jo until her character was broken, and would than marry her suitor.
Her work has been acknowledged and appreciated mainly in her poems. Throughout her decades of work as a writer-activist, Rich uses essays, speeches, and conference papers, magazine, articles book reviews, and personal reflection to articulate with stunning complexity issues of women’s freedom, individual identify and their roles in society. In her essay “Women and Honor: Some Notes of Lying” she articulate that women lie because of patriarchy and should be more truthful; however I partially agree and disagree with her statement. I believe that women today, in 2009 are more independent, self aware, and are careless about their surroundings and who they please. As time passes things change such as: people, society, beliefs, stereotypes, discrimination.
Many female writers see themselves as advocates for other creative females to help find their voice as a woman. Although this may be true, writer Virginia Woolf made her life mission to help women find their voice as a writer, no gender attached. She believed women had the creativity and power to write, not better than men, but as equals. Yet throughout history, women have been neglected in a sense, and Woolf attempted to find them. In her essay, A Room of One’s Own, she focuses on what is meant by connecting the terms, women and fiction.
From these traits a voice emerges in literature that has been hidden from the public view. This new true voice of female self-discovery finally comes out for the public to see in numerous works of that day. Courage, independence and emotional portrayal are the pivotal key traits that make up their self-discovery in the works of numerous female writers such as Gilman, Freeman, Woolson, and Chopin. These women writers were writing in the day where women were taught to maintain their place in society and family. After the Civil War “the homosocial world of women’s culture began to dissolve as women demanded entrance to higher education, the professions, and the political world” (Showalter 67).
This novel is a single day in a woman’s life but by the end of the book, the reader feels as if they have read the biography of each significant character. The reader witnesses remarkable association between characters with little or no physical relationship, the importance of time and how it controls many people’s lives, and the multiple perspectives that the story is told through. Virginia Woolf broke the barrier for future women novelists by exercising this intricate method of exploring the natural and random pattern of a human’s mind.
Even though so much has changed in the last fifty years, gender roles still take a huge toll in society. Unfortunately, breaking down gender roles is not easy; as women are still doing most of the housework but still expected to do more. Louisa May Alcott, the author of Little Women, was a struggling female author in the nineteenth-century, trying to defy the female stereotypes. In Louisa May Alcott’s novel Little Women, the theme of the struggle for women’s place in society due to gender roles is illustrated through the historical context and the characters shown in the novel. Louisa May Alcott, one of the many women struggling to find her place in society managed to defy the woman stereotypes.
The repressive society has taught a woman to be culturally silent, and thus this act of writing is for her essentially an act of breaking her silence. These women writers are aware that hundreds of thousands of women are discriminated against merely for being women. Such an insight into the marginalized feminine consciousness is provided by Manju Kapur’s Difficult Daughters. Every woman wants to differ from the stereotypes based on sex but to win over the oppressive forces she must manifest courage and uprightness. Manju Kapur, as a keen observer, explores many aspects of feminine sensibilities in her novel, Difficult Daughters.