During this week, we have covered numerous topics, none more prominent than the oppression of women. Everyone had different opinions, allowing me to take into account different views on the issue. In one of the texts we examined, “Oppression”, Marilyn Frye, a philosopher, debates the subjugation of women. She states the cultural customs that causes oppression of women. I do agree with her view that women are oppressed, but I do not agree that it is just women. I believe that men as a gender are also oppressed.
The feminist movement has grown and spread in the past decade. Women all over the world are standing up for basic rights, such as education, that all people, regardless of gender can enjoy. This movement is not a new one, though. Women from times past had already started paving the way towards some of the rights women have today. The work is not yet complete, and is evident by looking at the domination of women throughout the centuries, specifically the 19th and 20th century, which was the height of the women’s rights movement. By analyzing two literary works from two different eras, “The Yellow Wallpaper” written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman in the late 19th century and “Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers” written by Adrienne Rich in the mid-20th century, one can conclude that while there have been improvements to women’s rights, there is still discrimination prevalent.
Herland written by an American feminist author Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a utopian novel published in 1915. It first appeared as a serial in The Forerunner, a magazine edited and written by Gilman (1909-1916). The book Herland is the middle volume in her utopian trilogy, it was preceded by Moving the Mountain (1911), and followed by a sequel With Her in Our Land (1916). Herland is a feminist science fiction. In this novel Gilman has covered all the aspects of an individual FEMALE society.
Equality between the sexes is a relatively new concept. Throughout most of history women have always been treated to less privilege and opportunity as their male counterparts. Beginning in the 19th century onward, women began to make the argument for themselves that they were deserving of more fair and balanced treatment in society. Woman writers, poets, and thinkers began to create the early foundations for feminist thought and logic during this time. One of the pioneering voices in this emerging feminist movement was Virginia Woolf. Woolf, in her essay A Room of One’s Own tries to address the question of creativity between the sexes, and under what conditions does creativity flourish.
Throughout history, women have often been subjected to prejudice and an inferior status to men. Due to sexist ideologies of men believing that women are not capable of controlling their own lives, women have often been reduced to the status of property. This concept is prominent in many pieces of literature to demonstrate the struggles women have to go through in a predominantly, male structured world. In the novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood, the author illustrates a woman’s battle in an extreme society ruled by men to express the misogyny occurring in the time period when it was written, 1894. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia summarizes Atwood’s story as one that “depicts one woman’s chilling struggle to survive in a society ruled by misogynistic fascism, by which women are reduced to the condition of property.” Although written 100 years earlier, this is also seen in the novel, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, by Thomas Hardy, because both authors show the oppression of women through the experiences the characters go through and the means of survival they use. The two novels, The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood, and Tess of the D’Urbervilles, by Thomas
Ulrich, Laurel Thatcher. Good Wives: Image and Reality in the Lives of Women in Northern New England, 1650-1750. New York: Oxford University Press: 1983.
In this written text, the emphasis will be on Margaret Atwood’s novel, The Handmaid’s Tale and as well as the way Atwood portrays women and how it can be argued to show the oppression of women. The main purpose is to analyze the way women are treated throughout this book and depict why they are represented this way in the society in Gilead. Then, comparatively, observe the men’s domination over women and how they govern this society. In The Handmaid’s Tale, women are stripped of their rights, suffer many inequalities and are objectified, controlled by men and only valued for their reproductive qualities. The Gilead society is divided in multiple social group. This society is governed by men, the Commanders with the assistance of Aunts, then comes the Wives, Handmaid’s and Moira. Gilead was formed as a response to the dramatic decreasing birth rates, thus women called Handmaid’s are used to rejuvenate the population. How and why are different social groups represented in a particular way in The Handmaid’s Tale?
While there is an increase in interest in gender and women studies, many controversies, deficits and gaps are existed in explaining the relationship between perceived gender factors, misogyny in the context of this paper, and women’s political participation through the lenses of comparative political frameworks. It becomes more vivid when discussing and analyzing political effects of gender on women running for offices and especially for the office of commander in chief.
Margret Atwood’s short story “Lusus Naturae” is known as a work of fiction in which a monster uncommonly plays the role of the protagonist. Discussing character dynamics, it is interesting to examine the symbolic meaning behind the girl as a monster in this story. Is this text simply a fantasy created with the goal to serve solely as a horror story with a typical ending, or does this tale have a deeper meaning encompassing the treatment of women and their sexuality throughout history. Through close reading of “Lusus Naturae,” I plan to use evidence from the text to illustrate symbolic parallels between the unusual protagonist and the known historical role women held in society.
In the story “The Chrysanthemums”, by John Steinbeck, Elisa Allen lives an unsatisfactory life as she desires more than what is bestowed upon her. The reader learns Elisa’s husband is culpable for not seeing the beauty of his wife, leaving an open door for the antagonist, a traveler, to prey upon Elisa’s. Steinbeck uses Masculine and Feminine roles of the early 20th century, Internal Conflict, and an antagonist, to show Elisa’s struggle for Identity.
One of the most significant works of feminist literary criticism, Virginia Woolf’s “A Room of One`s Own”, explores both historical and contemporary literature written by women. Spending a day in the British Library, the narrator is disappointed that there are not enough books written by or even about women. Motivated by this lack of women’s literature and data about their lives, she decides to use her imagination and come up with her own characters and stories. After creating a tragic, but extraordinary gifted figure of Shakespeare’s sister and reflecting on the works of crucial 19th century women authors, the narrator moves on to the books by her contemporaries. So far, women were deprived of their own literary history, but now this heritage is starting to appear. She finds that women are currently writing nearly as many books as men, on all kinds of subjects, such as economics and philosophy, “which a generation ago no woman could have touched“. So, to explore current novels and to see what kind of changes occurred in
In The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, the Republic of Gilead actively represses women by forcing them into very narrowly defined, ultra-conservative gender roles. This totalitarian government strips women of all rights and protections, and imposes severe punishments for defiance. Pollution and disease had caused severe infertility in this society, drastically reducing birth rates. In an effort to reverse a drastic population decline, this thoroughly misogynistic and power-hungry regime, takes full control over the human reproductive process. Furthermore, the leadership uses various dehumanizing methods to achieve complete subservience of women to men. Some of these methods include destroying identity through classification, objectification, and indoctrination. Most women of Gilead are sufficiently repressed that they seem to accept their assigned roles, at least outwardly resigned to their fate. Atwood uses gender roles in The Handmaid’s Tale to show the lengths to which misogynistic totalitarian governments will go, to protect their dictatorships.
In conclusion, these characters in this novel were selected consciously and judiciously by Virginia Woolf. There were more female characters in the novel than male because she sought to contrast the women to the men’s life. They had various values whose qualities were given from the life of the authoress because she also fought against the issues as the gender equality, women’s equality because she has also experienced the women’s restriction (a woman could not to school, could not publish her works etc.) She unflinchingly fought against the social norms created by men. She was forced to escape into her own imagination and with her novels, he tried to fight against to this issue. The feminism is still an obscure question that influences other writers to deal
From the outset, literature and all forms of art have been used to express their author’s feelings, opinions, ideas, and believes. Accordingly, many authors have resorted to their writing to express their feminist ideas, but first we must define what feminism is. According to the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, feminism is “the belief that women should be allowed the same rights, power, and opportunities as men and be treated in the same way, or the set of activities intended to achieve this state”. As early as the fifteenth century is possible to find feminist writings. Centuries later, and although she never referred to herself as one, the famous English writer Virginia Woolf became one of the greatest feminist writers of the twentieth
This thesis consists of Hanif’s portrait of women and their marginalized positions in the society and economic, social and religious pride and prejudices towards women in Pakistani society which is an important theme of his novels. He belongs to those who are proof of that some people can tell the truth more comprehensively and authentically with fiction than facts. In his second novel Our Lady of Alice Bhatti (2012), he discusses the battle and determination of a woman fitting in with minority goes out in a patriarchal society and endures accordingly.