All these topics are conversed by the two famous authors Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. After reading “Persuasion” by Jane Austen, and watching two versions of “Mansfield Park” as well as “David Copperfield” and “Hysteria”, I have now decided that this essay will mainly be about equal rights between the genders and the differences between the working class and the aristocrats. In the text I will also mention socioeconomical issues and social science. My main focus will be women, how they lived, and survived, in the sexist society during the Regency era.
I believe that the critical lens that provides modern society with the most compelling view of literature is Feminist Criticism because it analyzes distrust and disloyalty among relationships, women being treated as possessions and shows the representation of powerful women. Modern society would analyze literature using a feminist perspective because most literature analyzes the relationship between genders and the powerful influence and meaning it has to the readers life. Othello is a great play to analyze with many different types of literature criticisms, but Feminist Criticism analyzes the plot and the main characters situation most. It is still so common to see many of the points presented in the book till this day, men believing that they are stronger than women and treating them as inferior. Even so women are trying to make their voice be heard and demonstrating everyday the vital impact they have in society.
The Awakening, by Kate Chopin, fits into a feminist lens as the text is greatly affected by the way the characters from the book are expected to act. Each character’s role correlates with their gender, and how a person of their gender is supposed to behave during the late 1800s. Women were treated unequal to men, and because of this, husbands were very oppressive to their wives as evidenced by the way Leonce treats Edna. The characters in this book are expected to submit and act according to their gender roles; in other words, males being dominant and females being subordinate. In the beginning of the text, this is the way Edna behaves; however, she transforms throughout the book and becomes a very different person as she breaks away from society’s
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.”
In Victorian society, women had the choice between two roles: the pure woman or the fallen woman. Bram Stoker plays with these anxieties revolving around female sexuality – he follows the gothic tradition of innocent damsel in distress against looming evil. The narrative structure Stoker imploys to the text through intertextuality reveals multiple point of view distinguishing a duality in Lucy - her true self and 'thing'. In order to cope with Lucy’s worsening condition, the male authoritative figures of the text assign a duality present in Lucy to make sense of her shifting from “pure woman” to “fallen woman”. Stoker exhibits in the structure of the multi-faceted narrative how certain characters are unable to cope with the duality present
Historical Feminism Criticism Throughout Titus Andronicus we find two leading female characters, Tamora the Queen of the Goths turned Empress of Rome and Lavinia the victim of a rape symbolic of the current chaos the country is in. Through the use of a feminist along with a slight historical analysis, I will explore the importance of these character in relation to the story and to the lead character, Titus. In Douglas E. Greens “Interpreting ‘Her Martyr’d Signs’: Gender And Tragedy in Titus Andronicus.”
Gender Separation in “Jury of Her Peers” Susan Glaspell was a woman author that developed a different genre of writing for women in her time period. She was a feminist that broke the silence that women had in the early 1900s, giving an insight into how women thought and were treated. Glaspell wasn’t what was thought to be the typical woman of her time, and she tested the idea of how a woman must act through her writings and achievements. “Her plays, stories, and novels explore universal themes that continue to be vital and challenging to readers and scholars today: themes of American identity, individuality vs. social conformity, the idealism of youth, the compromises of marriage, the disillusionments and hopes of aging” (“About Susan Glaspell.”).
This reductive literary tradition of portraying women as inherently crazy by authors is well explored in the book The Madwomen in the Attic: The Women Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination by Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar. In their tome of literary criticism, Gilbert and Gubar delve deeply through a feminist rereading of many celebrated 19th century literary works by female (and male) authors and quickly came to see the challenges these female writers encountered and the mechanisms they used as to navigate the confines of such tropes out of the scholarly and literary tools left from their male writer
The Reality of Edna’s Awakening Kate Chopin’s The Awakening was a dramatic novella that was based on society and how Edna was treated, love and independence of finding her true self. The author inputs the theme in a numerous amount of literary devices that include round character, irony and a metaphor to exaggerate the theme. This shows how Edna has two sides to herself; the one that tries to fit into society and another side that the public can see as a swell mother.
Barbara Leah Harman is the writer behind an analysis on Gaskell’s work that investigates the portrayal of women’s public life in Victorian England. This concept is analysed as it relates to both the historical record as well as the literary record in accordance with several works including North and South. As Harman writes in the beginning of the abstract of her thesis, “In Victorian England, female publicity seems nearly always to have been bad publicity” (Harman 1). Later on in her thesis, Harman develops this point by writing “[Gaskell] investigates both ends of the public/private spectrum: it explores the significance of female public appearance...”. One can identify that the main point that Harman is trying to prove in her essay is this: Participation in public life compromises the clarity of a woman’s position as neutral or disinterested analyst and observer, someone to whom man can turn when he seeks to be guided by “abstract principles of right and wrong.”
Gothic Fiction is a sub-genre of fiction that was introduced in the late eighteenth to early nineteenth century. Gothic fiction focuses on the world of the supernatural clashing with man’s idea of reality. Gothic literature combines the elements of horror, such as death and suspense, as well as romantic elements such as nature and high levels of emotions. These combined create a fearful atmosphere that keeps the reader in suspense throughout the entire novel. Written in the late eighteenth century, the gothic novel Dracula by Bram Stoker uses elements such as the innocent damsel in distress, unexplained threatening weather, and the gloomy isolated castle setting, to maintain an atmosphere of fear and suspense.
Gender in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and its 2004 Television Adaptation (2004) Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: A Modern Prometheus (1795)—a paradox for both gender theorists and filmmakers. A paradox for filmmakers, because most of the book consists of needlessly verbose reflections on natural scenery, emotions, and relationships, with little dramatic tension or any of the other elements that makes for a page-turning thriller; there is conflict, much melodrama, and occasional moments of horror but not enough to maintain much suspense. Nevertheless, Frankenstein appears to be one of the stories most frequently adapted in film, and even more so if one counts films that owe it a debt without giving credit, such as Blade Runner and the recent television
The thematic idea that my group and I were assigned for Romeo and Juliet is gender role in society. This is norms created by society for different genders. Gender role in society is very relevant in the world today, with many people experiencing it in their daily lives. An example of gender role in society is believing that males have to be strong and aggressive, and females have to be petite and do all of the housework. In Romeo and Juliet, gender role in society is evident throughout with arranged marriages, such as Capulet wanting Juliet to marry Paris, and forced household rules, like Juliet not being able to leave her home freely.