As a matter of fact most frequently critics have looked at how prejudicial her mother’s philosophies have been for our character, and attributed to Editha Mowbray the “fallness” of her daughter. In her essay “The return of the prodigal daughter” Joanne Tong contemplates how “Mrs. Mowbray pays too little rather than too much attention to her daughter” (2004: 475) the outcome of which is a misunderstanding of her position in society with regards to the strict laws of etiquette and feminine ideology in eighteenth century England. Cecily E. Hill also blames Editha for Adeline and Glenmurray’s extramarital affair and their inevitable moral condemnation, and instead of accusing the lovers she sees Editha as the soul villain of the novel. Contrary to the typical concept of a mother who provides a safe education to Adeline, she experiments with dubious theories that ultimately foreground her daughter’s tragic
Patriarchy presents the roles of men and women in a distinct form. Men are expected to be the dominant leader, strong, protector and sole provider where as women are subverted to the role of domestic duties, raring of children and fulfilling her man’s every desire without question or comment. In Lynn Nottage ’s play Poof! , she brilliantly portrays the roles of men and women, and experiments with the concept of changing gender roles that are characteristic of our society.
Both of these characters commit adultery and both live in the same restricted Puritan era. Yet, Hester is publically ashamed, isolated from the Puritan society, and remains a legend, while Abigail is revered, embraced by her society, and in fact is a ruthless woman; Hawthorne 's Hester is the epitome of atonement and morality, while Miller 's Abigail is an illustration of authority in the wrong hands, and the destructive impact jealousy and vengeance can have on a person. The circumstances which both of these women live in play a large role in shaping their characters. Abigail is a pariah in the society who has painful experiences with love, which are major contributing factors in making her resentful. Miller creates an atmosphere of a really restrictive society in Salem.
The Cult of True Womanhood in “The Yellow Wallpaper” In her essay “The Cult of True Womanhood: 1820-1860”, Barbara Welter discusses the expected roles and characteristics that women were supposed to exhibit in accordance with the extreme patriarchy of the nineteenth-century America. The unnamed narrator in “The Yellow Wallpaper” is seen to conform and ultimately suffer from this patriarchal construct that Welter labels the Cult of True Womanhood. The narrator falls victim to this life of captivity by exhibiting several of the fundamental characteristics that Welter claims define what a woman was told she ought to be.
“And woman should stand beside man as the comrade of his soul, not the servant of his body.” Charlotte Perkins Gilman Gilman has depicted fine portraits of a variety of characters struggling between the two worlds Herland (the world which entirely consists of women) and United States of America (from where the boys have come which is a world full of corruption, violence, jealousy, competition, wars). As a feminist novel about the isolated society/country of women, the novel serves an idealistic viewpoint. Though it is a utopian novel but there is a touch of reality. The imaginary world is related to the contemporary world and has a realistic touch.
These flavours of irony are enhanced through characters’ names. “Alec D’Urberville” is a counterfeit D’Urberville whereas “Tess Durbeyfield” is a rightful “D’Urberville”, evoking male perfidy and nobility of the “fallen woman”. Similarly, through the play title “Hedda Gabler”, Ibsen’s refusal to subsume Hedda’s personality into her marital title “Tesman” foregrounds her unorthodox personality, portraying the encumbering marriage facing every Victorian women, in which the limitation of the feminine role is embedded in the very nomenclature of society. The writers endow Tess and Hedda with strength necessary to unleash revenge against the “seducer”, a polemic against masculine subduer of female innocence.
The protagonist of The Yellow Wallpaper anthropomorphizes the floral elements of the yellow wallpaper, wherein wallpaper is typically a feminine floral decoration on wall interiors. These elements signify the scrutiny Victorian society makes of lives of its womenfolk, particularly of women who are creative and insubordinate to their spouses. The protagonist is one such woman; her writing denounces her imaginative character and the surreptitious persistence of her writing denounces her matrimonial and feminine disobedience which were considered radical in her contemporary society. Gilman expresses the suppression felt by women from societal scrutiny to be one of “strangling”, through the narrator, who in one instance describes the wallpaper pattern like so: “it strangles so; I think that is why it has so many heads… the pattern strangles them off and turns them upside down, and makes their eyes white!” Her anthropomorphizing of the pattern of the wallpaper adopts a grimmer facet when she writes that “when you follow the lame uncertain curves for a little distance they suddenly commit suicide.”
Girl with a Pearl Earring, written by Tracy Chevalier follows the story of Griet, an unlikely house maid. While The Piano directed by Jane Campion follows the story of muted woman named Ada. Collectively, these texts follow two assertive and creative female protagonists struggling with individuality within an oppressive patriarchal society. Both authors therefore aim to condemn this social system through the objectification of women, society’s expectations and the controlling and confinement in which both protagonists are subject to. Chevalier and Campion’s similar distaste of the patriarchal society aims to inform the reader that the same patriarchal dividend, although improved, is still prevalent in today’s patriarchal
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy depicts the inner lives and hardships women in a patriarchal society face. Roy provides a reflection of the social injustice in India in the form of abusive and tyrannical males who abuse women - both physically and psychologically. The novel is a vehicle for the author to express her disillusionment with the postcolonial social conditions. This response will critically analyse the lives of the female characters in Roy’s novel, specifically Mammachi and Ammu and explore the ways they have been marginalised.
For Better or For Worse: The Madness of Marriage in Victorian Society “The Yellow Wallpaper” is a psychologically thrilling short story written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, offering a social commentary on women’s freedom of thought during the Victorian era. Gilman tells the story of an unnamed narrator who is locked in a quasi-prison by her domineering husband. The protagonist is given a voice only through the secret writings of her slow, painful decline into madness. This short story perfectly highlights the downfalls of a society completely dominated by males, as well as the cruel and ineffective “treatment” of mental disorders. This theme of female suffocation is repeated throughout the story in three ways: through her husband’s actions, the protagonist’s mental decline, and the physical environment she is kept prisoner in.
In 1988, the icon, Mike Nichols, found success directing the film, Working Girl. Nichols was not new to earning fame from his films, nor was he new to directing pictures dealing with work in America. Working Girl came at a time when equality was attempting to urge its way in to the workplace. Women were able to be confident outside of the home and were entering the work force at high speed. The film showcases a woman in the workplace, Tess McGill (Melanie Griffith), and her battle to be taken seriously in the hustle and bustle of New York’s dog eat dog world, even if it is through a bit of deception.