This thesis will be dealing with the life and work of two most prominent women writers of the 19th and 20th century, Emily Dickinson and Sylvia Plath. For better understanding of complex topics their work reflects, I will describe important events from their biographies. Although Dickinson and Plath lived in two different centuries they were connected by a common thread, the position of women in the male-dominated world. Not only that they wanted for women to have the same rights as men, but also to be free from the roles of housewives and mothers which were imposed on them by a conservative society. They fought for these rights in only way they could, by writing.
Once her husband has died and her children have grown up, she has nothing in her life. She has focused all of her energy on wifely duties in her later years and in the end she is left with nothing. Even when her husband dies she considers remarrying as a way to fill the void. This poem serves as a cautionary tale to young women, encouraging the growth of independence over unquestioning devotion to a husband and family. It causes the reader to wonder if domestic life is the best choice for them and to evaluate the purpose it serves in society.
Emily Dickinson’s poetry is an essential part of American literature. Firstly, Emily’s style of poetry is largely influenced by her childhood. She grew up with her parents, a brother, and a sister. Her mother was aloof and quite possibly depressed, so Emily was closer to her father and siblings than she was to her mother.
The Owner passed… and carried [her] away” (Dickinson). Dickinson describes the woman as “an empty vessel”, so before the Owner/her husband comes along she is useless (Welter 235). The last two lines of the poem express a feeling of helplessness, when the woman has “the power to kill, Without--the power to die” (Dickinson). After marriage she becomes “completely dependent on” her husband and lacks any “legal or emotional existence of her own” (Welter 235). The 1950’s also held women who ignored the housewife expectations thus pursuing a career.
Nevertheless she maintained toward his morose man an attitude of teasing affection. “He buys me many books- but begs me not to read them- because he fears they joggle the mind.” Her father was regarded as a tyrannical Puritan who controlled his daughter’s life and lightened it (Benfey 27). Moreover, in her late twenties or early thirties, Dickinson had a very shattering and emotional experience as she faced many disappointments relating to love; because of this she spent a great deal of time alone in her Amherst home. Furthermore, in 1854, Dickinson met with Reverend Charles Wadsworth in Philadelphia, and he could have possibly been the “inspiration for some of her love poems” (Emily Dickinson Biography).
In Taking Off Emily Dickinson’s Clothes, by Billy Collins we are taken on a journey back to the nineteenth century, it is fascinating to contemplate Collins idea of the diminishing of Dickinson's clothes. Emily Dickinson took her liberty to compose such shrewd poetry that was revealed later after her death to the public. Dickinson’s poetry is found perplexing and dramatic, which is clear on why Collins would pick Emily Dickinson as his incentive for this poem. Throughout Collins poem, he uses extended metaphors to expose the reader to understand the profound thoughts of a poet. Collins also conveys figurative language in reference to Dickinson life that can persuade an effect on the reader when reading a
The role of a woman in society has always fit into a perfect box. Women were expected to be the dutiful wife, loving mother and housekeeper for her family. Betty Friedan wrote The Feminine Mystique, in 1963 hoping to unveil the truth behind women’s thoughts about their role in society. Friedan exposed that things were not always, as they seemed for the average mother and homemaker in the 1950s and 1960s. Kate Chopin wrote The Awakening in the 1850’s which told the story of Edna Pontillier and her struggles as a housewife and finding her true identity.
It can be said that society has always been quite judgmental, and at times misguided when it comes to women. The negative perceptions that society has towards females are often times directly related toward her actions. What a female does seems to degrade her identity and capabilities in the eyes of some men. In the poems “The Lady’s Dressing Room” and The essay “A Modest Proposal” by Jonathan Swift, we can see both authors use of tone, form and style to develop their works. These poems are mainly driven by men’s attitudes towards women.
Each of her poems are crafted around the normality of women and the tragic role that commodity plays within the history of women. The issue of objectification and rejection is addressed and carefully illustrated within her work. For example her poem entitled “Crow’s Sugar”speaks of the commodification of women through the issue of virtue and how it is seen in the eyes of men. Within her poem she states the following “The other boy said you wasn’t worth your salt if you wasn’t tasting me, I hid my virginity underneath my shirt” (Lines 20-21). Virginity and sex with a woman is not seen as a privilege it is seen as a right, to be taken and conquered rather than praised and appreciated.
Much like in Victorian England, women had certain expectations to meet to make them acceptable and respectful citizens. The main goal in a woman’s life was to make her marry a respectable gentleman, whom she would take care of, bear children to in exchange for her protection. Their position in the household was to aspire to be an ideal woman, the so-called ‘Angel in the House”: she was to be devoted and submissive to her husband, passive, powerless, meek, charming, graceful, selfless and self-sacrificing, chaste and pure; this point I will present with the help of Edith Wharton’s novel, which illustrates this point splendidly through the characters of May Welland and Ellen
Introductory Paragraph Context: For centuries, women have been unjustly considered inferior to men and have had to cope with many inequities. While they have gradually gained more rights, the Industrial Revolutions have created new ways for men to exploit women and have made women even more dependent on their husbands. Thesis: This poem accurately describes the gender roles for European men and women in the late 19th Century. The poem reflects gender roles for men and women pertaining to their jobs, education and domesticity and how women were treated as inferiors to men regarding to these topics. 2.
Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman are the most representative and brilliant poets of the nineteenth century and in the American literature in general. However, we can also say that, between them, they have the most different styles of writing they can have, just as well as their lives. For example, as Christenbury (n.d.) stated, firstly that Walt Whitman was someone “[…] who struggled to get his poems published and who developed a broad admiring audience during his lifetime. In contrast, the reclusive Emily Dickinson died unknown to the world of poetry, leaving a box full of unpublished poems”. Nevertheless, we can find some similarities in their lives, for example, both of them lived in a difficult historical period: on the one hand Emily Dickinson, who was born the 10th of December of 1830 and on the other hand, Walt Whitman, who was born the 31st of May of 1819, lived the period of the American civil war.
Emily Dickinson lived during a time when many would become very well acquainted with death. As such it would become a specter that was feared as it could make an appearance at any time. So looking at Dickinson 's work it seems rather interesting that taken as a collection there seems to be the tale of one character that comes to view death in a multitude of different ways throughout their life. First is the feared figure that leaves them restless, then death comes as something numbing but leaves the living to celebrate the life of the one that has passed, life as a story that is completed and finished upon death, and finally coming to see death as kind figure that takes one to a new home. this finally view is what paints death as something that is not to be feared but rather as something natural, it is the next
In this book, women seem to be covered in a veil of gauze, and readers can't see clearly their faces, but not their lives. Can't see the woman's freedom, don't see a woman's work, it can only see their busy figure, see them stupid fool, see their flattery and infidelity. And they just tool for children, just the executor of action, talking tools, they are just in order to fool man intrigue, only fot a man to play with, they are the only fool to believe that is the fate. Female images in literature is often associated with love, no matter this love is a great love and great maternal love, those who was saturated with love women, often because of love, the world of men as their own world, they lost the self, but can't get equal in the society of the inequality of male and female in return. Her love eventually turned her into a "object" -- the object of a man's desire or a tool for