Women during Edna’s time were supposed to be dedicated to their husbands and children, however, Edna yearned for her own independence, and as a result of wanting her own independence Edna knew that she was seen as a terrible person. For instance Edna wanted to “…try to determine what character of a woman I am; for, candidly, I don't know. By all the codes which I am acquainted with, I am a devilishly wicked specimen of the sex. But some way I can't convince myself that I am. I must think about it" (27.4).
Elizabeth The book Pride and Prejudice is a story of an empowered woman named Elizabeth living in a misogynistic world. The excerpt from A Vindication of the Rights of Women (AVOTROW) focuses on the misogynistic world that Elizabeth lives in and challenges it, much like Elizabeth. During that time, Elizabeth would have been considered a feminist, she did not fit into the social constructs given to her sex. She focused her energy into strengthening her mind, and she believed in marrying for love instead of money which was revolutionary. The Vindication of the Rights of Women state that at the time, women were unequal to men intellectually because they are women, and the only way for them to have a future is to marry for profit.
In contrast to past gender stereotypes, they argue that girls should be strong, independent, and intelligent. Orenstein takes a second wave feminism approach, meaning females are just as capable as males. She references how she commonly writes about feminism and warning parents of a “preoccupation of body and beauty” in order to pull for a change in society (327). The beauty standards give women an impossible set of goals deterring their confidence. In addition to unrealistic standards, Orenstein is alarmed by the growing popularity of princesses because she views them as “retrograde role models” (329).
In the end, she knew she could never find true happiness or freedom because of society; she chose to die instead (Skaggs). Unlike the other female characters, “Edna will not settle for living as less than a complete person; but forces beyond her control doom inexorably her search for a full, meaningful, and satisfying individuality” (Skaggs). After Robert left her, Edna’s heart shattered. The women around her did not understand what she was going through, in the end, she had to face her “awakening” alone (Elfenbein). Edna was suffering “under the liberty in which she must justify her existence.
A woman was referred to as a whore if she initiated sex, a prude for refusing it, a dangerous monster that could not be in control in literature and as a slut for being a prostitute. A prostitute was additionally excluded from society, and had to dress differently so that it would be easy to differentiate between a whore and “good girl”. The thoughts and beliefs of the origin cultures on subordinating women were cruel and insensitive. A woman should be granted the freedom to choose her life and how she wants to live it, rather than be deprived from it and given standards to live up to. Although these ideas may not continue to shape our society as dramatically as they use to, they are still present.
Because the author is a woman writing about a woman, she is not taken seriously and is forced to either change her story to fit into a genre more centered to female readers, or risk the novel’s success by choosing a different target audience. I found this to be a good analogy for sexism, as it promotes the idea of women and their work as inferior, despite the male dominated genre being invented by a woman, Mary Shelly in 1818 with her publishing of Frankenstein (Milam). Even though the genre was created by a woman, the dominate group bars women’s work from being anything but inferior. While the solution to the first example may work in some ways, it would be better for the publishing industry to give female authors equal opportunity, and take their work at its actual value, not perceived value due to sexism. It would take an understanding of internalized prejudice and to see women as equal.
family and from pursuing her own interests. Unhappy with her conditions, Edna rebels against them, however this results in her not being accepted in society. Thus, Edna deliberately sacrifices her freedom in a way which Edna’s value of free nonconformity. The sacrifice goes hand-in-hand with the meaning of the work as a whole that there is no place in society for those who do not conform to its expectations. A misogynistic and sexist time, the Victorian Era envisage and encloses women into a certain image that they are meant to be devoted, subordinate and more-or-less obsessed with their husband and family.
Edna says she wants to do her own thing without being fettered by her children or the society that is saying that you can’t get divorced. Edna also states that her children are bringing her down and damning her soul; Edna thought about her being free and realized that it is just another fantasy and the one person who actually gave her pleasure was Robert and he had left her for the sake of herself. Edna had been getting frustrated with the idea of her not being satisfied and her not receiving the love that she wanted and the realization of her not getting love or independence she didn’t give love back. She did love her kids but she never really wanted to be in this grouping of a mom or a housewife essentially. Her overall point is that she wants to be free and actually get satisfaction from activities other than painting, she felt constricted with Leonce.
While this book is about feminism and a woman’s right to establish her own authentic identity, it is actually about something more—something that concerns both women and men. The Awakening is about breaking free from the pre-determined labels society puts on you. It is about finding the daring to be you. The Awakening asks you to forget about that little box you live in—the one in which you wear certain clothes, only hang out with certain people, and define yourself according to the certain rules of a clique.
That women absolutely could not be themselves. How is being locked up and put away till "happiness" comes your way the answer and cure for depression, which is a major mental illness that is to not be played around with. Women in this era often wanted the freedom to follow their own desires and education was one of them. Women wanted to smart and educated like men, women wanted big roles in the houseold like supporting their family and making an income for their families, but yet again since women were often put on as too weak to handle a mans a job, they had no right to do so. In conclusion, women in the Realism Era (1865-1910) could not think for themselves, were controlled by men and had no right for an education.