Inferiorety of Women in Madam Bovary, The Stranger, and The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Inferiorety of Women in Madam Bovary, The Stranger, and The Unbearable Lightness of Being

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Throughout history and literature women have been second to men. In many of the books we have looked at in the duration of high school years even the most powerful and influential women are often seen under men. The women’s actions and thoughts are often looked down on by others despite the men having often performed worse actions than the they have. This drives across the idea of imbalance among the sexes and pushes the idea of women being inferior to men into the reader’s mind whether or not it is picked up. This theme comes up throughout each book either being more relevant throughout the entire storyline or simply in a brief moment. Each way it comes across it shows this idea of imbalance. Primarily through a feminist lense in Madame Bovary, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and The Stranger women are shown to be inferior to men through individual relationships and societies’ views on them.
In each storyline the women’s actions are viewed negatively by individuals or themselves based on how their society has showed them to think. In the first of the three books, Madame Bovary, Emma is ridiculed for her actions and shown to be a bad person from women’s view of her. In a society where women are expected to act properly, like Catherine Leroux who worked “fifty-four years of the same service” and only expect a “silver medal” under men, Emma’s actions are made out to seem unjustifiable (140). When Emma has spent all of her and Charles’ money she is trapped. She is stuck in a situation where she can search for help from someone to save her from the debt or tell Charles “it [was her] … who [ruined him]” through losing all of their belongings (Part 3, Chapter 7). When Emma searches only to help the cause by trying to keep their poss...


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... relationship Tomas shows emotional strength and power in their relationship with his ability of having affairs without being emotionally compromised. This puts the idea that Tereza is weaker in relationship and emotionally again pushing the inferior aspect of women in this book.
From the ideas pushed across in these books through characters and relationships we can see women being pushed down as the inferior sex to men. In the grand scheme of all the novels it creates the image of women not being as powerful as men. These stories greatly reflect the real world and how in the past women have been viewed inferior to men. They show how society affects individuals minds to believe this is true and we often fall subject to this evil without a second thought. The future only holds one path and as a society we should aim for direct equality among both males and females.


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