Affinity Sarah Waters Summary

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Affinity, Sarah Waters
Upon reading the extract from Affinity by Sarah Waters I found the gender roles and the contrast between the characters interesting, and therefore I have chosen to critically analyse the extract through the lenses of patriarchal figures and feminism. I wish to highlight certain parts of the extract where I feel these concepts were brought to the fore in an intriguing way.
Patriarchy is a system based on ‘the social position held by a male as head of a household’(Gunne lectures). From the outset of the extract the reader is introduced to the prominent patriarchal figure, Peter Quick. We are immediately made aware of the control he has over the other characters, as Miss Isherwood informs us she ‘had not slept a single
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This highlights the passive role women were expected to uphold in order to please their male counterparts.
In the closing paragraphs of the extract we see a display of power from Miss Isherwood as she takes control of her powers and begins to give orders to Miss Dawes. She is authoritarian and commands Miss Dawes to complete various actions, although she is led through this by Peter Quick, again showing the subservient nature of women.
Miss Dawes also acts as an example of subservience and passiveness throughout the passage as she allows herself to be ordered by Peter Quick and does not question anything he has to say, illustrating the stereotypical accepting nature of women.
To conclude, I found the dynamic between the characters and the gender roles portrayed interesting in this extract. While there are some moments of female empowerment in this piece, I do find that the patriarchy triumph overall and they come across stronger to the audience. I believe that the female characters in this story are all at the hands of the prominent patriarch and that he is the crux of the

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