Feminism In Roxane Gay's An Untamed State

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Feminism isn’t just equality amongst men and women; it can be used to illustrate social, economic, cultural, even political movements. In the novel An Untamed State by Roxane Gay, the concept of feminism in its disdain way, is transformed into something almost inadmissible. Women are supposed to be seen as powerless in a country like Haiti where men take advantage of women, but the roles are switched when the women display this nature. An Untamed State displays the reverse of the stereotypical role in society of men being dominant, because women hold both emotional and social power in a way that changes the scope of male/female relationships.
As relationships unfold, dominant forces begin to become more apparent. In the “before” of this
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Fabienne and Sebastien have been together through the rise and fall of Haiti. Fabienne is forever loyal to Sebastien for every step of the way. Although, readers might think that Sebastien holds all the cards in their relationship, Fabienne actually controls the relationship in an unrecognizable way. Holding emotional power over someone can influence feelings in a way that can be imperative. When Sebastien was refusing to pay his daughter’s ransom, Fabienne has had enough of his prideful ways and told him, “The time for trust is over. Too much trust I have given you. End this, now” (Gay 146). Fabienne is displaying a frustration towards him because she has put way too much trust into him. When she says this, he becomes weary and collapses. The type of attitude that Fabienne has towards her husband makes him physically weak, showing what kind of power her words have over him. Fabienne doesn’t show weakness by following Sebastien to Haiti when she doesn’t want to, it shows power. Her children love their father and growing up, he was somewhat of an idol to them. On the other hand, following her husband and supporting him with whatever endeavors he had, shows her children what loyalty really is, which is a lesson that overwhelms any lesson taught by their father. Sometimes a disguisable control in a relationship is the most powerful. When Mirelle and Michael return to Haiti after her release several years later, she visits her parents after not seeing them for a long time. Mirelle only kisses her mother when greeting the both of them. When her father expresses how good it is to see her and she was missed, she replies with the notion was that the only reason she is there was because of her sister Mona. This deeply hurts her father and Mirelle thinks, “My mother reached for my father’s hand. There are no limits to her compassion for that man” (Gay 349). Fabienne’s strength overrules
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