Feminism in Braided Lives

Feminism in Braided Lives

Length: 678 words (1.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓

Feminism in Braided Lives

Marge Piercy is well known for her feminist views and attitudes throughout her novels. Braided Lives is no exception. The novel follows Piercy's pattern of feminist writing. The characters in the novel are victims of society's crimes towards women. The protagonist, Jill, deals with many issues including rape and abortion. Due to her own experiences with these issues, it becomes her passion to help others in the same situation. Jill constantly strives to be in control of her own life; this struggle is another facet of the feminist movement. The goal of the novel is to "make its readers pay more attention to the current attack on legal abortion, and make them more eager to defend the imperiled gains of the women's movement" (Pollitt 378).

Jill and her female companions encounter many difficult situations involving rape. At age 14, Jill is attacked by her boyfriend Freddie. This occurs at a time when Jill is first discovering her own sexuality and who she is. This experience has an effect on Jill into adulthood. In the novel, she speaks of this experience four years later, when she is preparing to leave for college. Jill recalls this event in vivid detail.

I see his face hard and angry and I remember the terror that gripped me on the kitchen floor when I realized he wasn't going to listen to my firm loud nos that time. Terror twitched me violently... (30).

Jill's cousin and roommate, Donna, is violently raped by a townie. Donna comes to Jill after the rape has taken place. She has been beaten both physically and emotionally. Piercy describes the rape and the aftermath of the rape in great detail. dedicating several pages to describing the horrific acts. Jill won't leave Donna's side and nurses her back to health. Jill takes it upon herself to defend and protect Donna against the man who raped her. This is just one of many times in which Jill defends and protects her female friends against society throughout Braided Lives.

Fighting for a woman's right for an abortion becomes Jill's passion in life. This is a result of her own experiences and those of her friends. When Jill is a freshman in college she becomes pregnant by her boyfriend. Neither is ready for the responsibility of marriage or a child.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Feminism in Braided Lives." 123HelpMe.com. 18 Jul 2018

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Parallel Voices in Braided Lives Essay

- Parallel Voices in Braided Lives The parallel voice is a device which is present in Marge Piercy's novel, Braided Lives. This technique enforces the effect of Jill's past life on her future life and views. A gauge of the protagonist's growth is given by parallel voices, a technique which enables the reader to see how the protagonist has developed from teenager to adult. The parallel voices of the young and adult narrator give insight to the changes that have occurred in her life. According to one critic, "Jill is survivor, and she chooses to examine her own past out of a strong commitment to the present" (Gold 378)....   [tags: Braided Lives]

Research Papers
559 words (1.6 pages)

Relationships in Braided Lives Essay

- Relationships in Braided Lives In Marge Piercy's Braided Lives, Jill goes through many consecutive, turbulent relationships with men. This pattern begins with her father, continues with her best friend, and then continues through many other relationships in her college years. Each relationship affects Jill and how she views men and herself. She has a very negative outlook on men. In fact, most of the male-female relationships in the novel are not positive experiences for the women involved....   [tags: Braided Lives]

Research Papers
635 words (1.8 pages)

Essay on Feminism in Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Aurora Leigh

- Feminism in Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Aurora Leigh In Aurora Leigh, Elizabeth Barrett Browning creates an independent, intelligent young woman. Barrett Browning successfully demonstrates the difficult obstacles women had to overcome in the Victorian period. There were preconceived ideas of what "proper" women were suppose to do with their life. Not that this idea has completely been surmounted in our time. Barrett Browning though is optimistic about the goals women can achieve. She wants to demonstrate to women that belief in themselves and their dreams is possible and preferable to the standard....   [tags: Aurora Leigh Essays]

Research Papers
1165 words (3.3 pages)

Frida Kahlo and Joy Hester Essay

- Frida Kahlo and Joy Hester During the 1940's and 50's a emergence of strong female artistic influence can be seen using the examples of Joy Hester and Frida Kahlo. While Kahlo was recognised during her life as a brilliant independent artist for her ground-breakingly personal style, Hester was not. It was only after her death in 1960 that her art was truly celebrated in Australian exhibitions. Hester and Kahlo both attended art schools through the 1920's and 30's; because of this they share many of the same basic artistic influences....   [tags: History Biography Feminism]

Research Papers
1730 words (4.9 pages)

Feminism in John Steinbeck's The Chrysanthemums Essay

- Feminism in John Steinbeck’s The Chrysanthemums   At first glance John Steinbeck’s "The Chrysanthemums" seems to be a story about a woman whose niche is in the garden. Upon deeper inspection the story has strong notes of feminism in the central character Elisa Allen.  Elisa’s actions and feelings reflect her struggle as a woman trying and failing to emasculate herself in a male dominated society. Elisa is at her strongest and most proud in the garden and becomes weak when placed in feminine positions such as going out to dinner with her husband....   [tags: Feminism Feminist Women Criticism]

Free Essays
824 words (2.4 pages)

What is Feminism? Essay

- What is Feminism. What is feminism. By general definition, feminism is a philosophy in which women and their contributions are valued. It is based on social, political and economical equality for women. Feminists can be anyone in the population, men, women, girl or boys. Feminism can also be described as a movement. A revolution that includes women and men who wish the world to be equal without boundaries. These boundaries or blockades are better known as discrimination and biases against gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status and economic status....   [tags: Carol Gilligan Feminism Gender Essays Papers]

Research Papers
762 words (2.2 pages)

Define Feminism Essay

- Define Feminism "A woman should be barefoot, pregnant and chained to a stove," stated Ben Glantz, a high school senior. Drew Pershing, another senior, also shared a joke, "What does a woman do after she leaves a battered shelter. The dishes...if she knows what's good for her!" Daily jokes and comments such as these, no matter how harmless, are detrimental to the status of women and a dangerous undermining of their accomplishments. Shared by both genders, sexually discriminative comments are widely accepted in society as normal and harmless....   [tags: Feminism Feminist Women Criticism]

Research Papers
1877 words (5.4 pages)

Makeover Feminism Essay

- Makeover Feminism Most viewers of commercial television or consumers of popular magazines have seen striking images of women whose appearance has been dramatically altered. Many of these “made-over” women changed their body image through diet and exercise regimes, skillfully applied makeup, or elective cosmetic surgery. Possessed of higher education, prestigious careers, and families, these successful women often report that they felt some aspect of their appearance prevented them from reaching their goals....   [tags: Social Sociology Feminism Essays]

Research Papers
2022 words (5.8 pages)

Feminism Essay

- Feminism There has been a great deal of discussion over the Feminist & Gender Studies Program changing its name to Gender & Sexuality. The basis of this debate is over the exclusion of the word "feminist" from the title. It is important to question how this modification will affect the direction of the program and the feminist movement as a whole. The categorization of this area of study must be sensitive to the complex social issues it represents. Bringing the term "gender" to the fore-front, and focusing less on women, is a necessary "part of the attempt by contemporary feminists to stake claim to a certain definitional ground, to insist on the inadequacies of existing bodies of men" (Sco...   [tags: Feminism Sociology Essays]

Research Papers
1514 words (4.3 pages)

Feminism Essay

- Feminism The notion of difference among the sexes has been studied extensively in terms of cognition and brain activity. An MRI can back these claims, showing male and female brains 'lighting up' in different locations based upon different stimuli. Anyone with a close relationship to a child can attest to the fact that they were born with certain traits. Perhaps their nephew is very shy, while their niece has never met a stranger. In other words, some difference among individuals is innate, fundamental....   [tags: Women Rights Feminist Papers]

Research Papers
3953 words (11.3 pages)

Related Searches

With the help of her mother, Jill induces her own abortion.

Even in adulthood, Jill is still affected by the emotional and physical trauma of this experience. Jill's personal experiences contribute to her willingness to help and support female friends who end up in the same situation. She put money aside for anyone who needed assistance in getting an abortion, and she also collects names and numbers of doctors who performed them. Jill says, "I don't exactly know why I always write down the information, but I have started keeping names, approximate fees, and instructions in the back of my Spanish notebook. There has to be someone who knows, I figure, and I am willing to be that woman" (282). Jill assists her friend Donna financially and is present during the actual procedure. This is one of the several instances in which Jill demonstrates her total belief in a cause through her actions.

Throughout the novel, Jill struggles to be in control of her own life, and she vows not to abandon her ambitions because someone else tells her to. Jill is not a privileged, fragile innocent. She does not allow discouraging professors, patronizing boyfriends, or pushy parents to force her into giving up her dreams and becoming an obedient housewife (Pollitt 378). Jill takes her life into her own hands and does what ever she can in order to keep her life free from the control of others.

Marge Piercy's feminist attitudes and views are apparent in Braided Lives. Piercy believes that women should be in control of their own bodies and lives. Through the character's encounters with rape and abortion these views are shown. She creates characters who want and are in control of their lives.

Return to 123HelpMe.com