Women Roles During 19th Century American Literatures Essay example

Women Roles During 19th Century American Literatures Essay example

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Women roles have changed drastically in the last 50 to 80 years, women no longer have to completely conform to society’s gender roles and now enjoy the idea of being individuals. Along with the evolution of women roles in society, women presence and acceptance have drastically grown in modern literature. In early literature it was common to see women roles as simply caretakers, wives or as background; women roles and ideas were nearly non-existent and was rather seen than heard. The belief that women were more involved in the raising of children and taking care of the household was a great theme in many early literatures; women did not get much credit for being apart of the frontier and expansion of many of the nations success until much later.
It was in the beginning of the 18th century when women roles begin to change and there began a push for equality for women in all aspects of life including literature. The portrayal of women roles in 18th century American literatures are a direct reflection on the culture of the 18th century and women’s roles in their society. Through the help of great authors such as Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Katherine Mansfield, we can explore the minds of women in the 18th and 19th century. One of the great themes in Katherine Mansfield, The Garden Party, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper, was gender roles.
In The Garden Party, we meet a young woman named Laura who is having a hard time figuring out her feeling towards the death of her neighbor, who is of a lower class than her. She is depicted as being an extremely naïve, easily impressed and curious young women. Throughout this story the readers explores Laura’s mind, along with the minds of those around her, Laura transiti...


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...a fulfilling one. These characters live a life in which they serve their husband and are viewed to be less than the men that take care of them. The narrator of The Yellow Wallpaper is completely aware of the fact that her husband does not view them as equals and it does weigh heavy on her mental stability. However in The Garden Party, Laura does not seem to be that aware of how much her opinions do not matter to those around her, this could be due to her age or she accepts this attitude as the social norm. The Yellow Wallpaper and The Garden Party showed the views of women inequality from the standards of two separate women who had two different views; a view point in which the character was not able to handle it and from a viewpoint in which the character oblivious to that fact or just did not care. Great stories like this help us appreciate how far we have come.

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