Elaine Relationship In Cat's Eye

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Once Elaine goes to school she forms a friendship with Carol Campbell who comes from a more affluent family than Elaine and enjoys showing Elaine all her possessions. She is astonished at the lower middle-class nature of Elaine’s family who still settling into their permanent home. Consequently, Carol treats Elaine as an oddity and talks about her family as if “reporting on the antics of some primitive tribe” (CE 54). She also introduces Elaine to her friend Grace Smeath, a girl from a grade ahead of them (Webb 80-81). Carol and Grace introduce Elaine to the unacquainted world of pageboy haircuts, twin sets and Eaton’s Catalogues. Elaine is astonished by the new world which is opened for her and she gradually becomes conscious of the restrictions…show more content…
She has affairs with two men, but both failed. From the time when Elaine begins her first love-affair with her art teacher Josef Hrbik, he is the one who has the power over her as he starts to control her life by improving her. He is actually in a similar situation to Cordelia, who was also very powerful. Once he suggests to her that she should wear her hair loose or that she should wear purple dresses, Elaine follows his advice (Karásková 25-26). In addition, he sexually exploits his art students and treats them as an object to fulfill his erotic desires as he does with Susie and Elaine. Elaine comes to understand the true personality of Josef in the persecution of Susie, her fellow art student, who commits suicide because of her illegitimate pregnancy. Furthermore, he does not respect Elaine’s individually and regards her as his property. Thus, he does not give her any credit as an artist so Elaine excludes him from her life as he is considered as a threat to her identity (Mehta 188). Stephen Ahern in “Meat Like You Like” pointed out that, “Her art teacher Josef is a walking catalogue of patriarchal myths of femininity: he feels women should live for him only and has an objectivizing, pre-Raphaelite vision of women as helpless flowers, or shapes to be arranged and contemplated” (12). In her another affair with Jon, Elaine is trapped into marriage with him when she found…show more content…
Elaine recognizes that her individuality and creativity are violated by her inconsiderate husband, who himself is a painter. As a result, the readers can see how male artists are indifferent towards female artists due to their gender-biased attitude. As she comes to know about his extra-marital affair, Elaine’s life with Jon destroys. Undeniably, Jon’s betrayal is a devastating blow to her because her two male relationships have added to her victimization (Mehta 189). Neeru Tandon and Anshul Chandra in their book Margaret Atwood argue that this novel questions and challenges the gender prejudice of male art history which condemns a woman painter to a passive character on account of her femininity (159). In “Study of Childhood Trauma”, Anna Lloyd remarks that Elaine also observes that the fathers of her childhood friends are also oppressive and violent against their families. In Cordelia’s household Elaine perceives that owing to his contempt and his habit to criticize his family, Cordelia’s father turns the house into a divided one. As soon as he is at home, the family sits down at the dinner table and everything has to be arranged. The table is perfectly laid and the family members also have to be appropriately dressed. But when her father is not there things are much more spontaneous
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