Many women were in fact belittled by the ideal of true womanhood and exhibited characteristics such as submissiveness or piety. Gilman also employs somber diction throughout the story, such as “crawl”(55) and “creep”(58) to suggest that covert agency is the only way for women to improve their situations at
Molding of the Perfect Woman: An Analysis of Jamaica Kincaid’s “Girl” “…on Sundays try to walk like a lady and not like the slut you are so bent on becoming…” (Kincaid, 320). This phrase accurately represents the point that is being made in this passage. In Jamaica Kincaid’s piece, “Girl”, her mother is giving her advice on how to be and act like a proper woman. Her mother describes everything from how to properly do laundry to how to set a table for all occasions (Kincaid, 3-4).
My obscure lines shall not so dim their worth.” (111) Bradstreet articulates that her writing is not good enough for songs of wars, of captains, and of kings. From this, one can understand that women have been “brainwashed” to think that men are superior
The Manipulation of Societal Expectations and Power In the short story “Fantomina: Or, Love in a Maze”, Eliza Haywood shows how societal values, standards that people are expected to follow, can also be manipulated to a person’s favor. In the eighteenth century, a woman’s reputation is extremely important because her actions do not only represent her character, but it also affects her ability to find a husband and wed. Finding a husband is an act necessary to survive as a woman in this time period. However, the protagonist pushes the boundaries of societal limits by actively pursuing and having sexual intercourse with a man dressed as four different characters. Although, the protagonist is extremely careful when it comes to hiding her identity,
Society encouraged young women "to exercise gamesmanship instead of honesty, to control rather than
Moreover, this restriction on expressing sexuality encourages passive behavior amongst women. In addition, linking a woman’s ethics to her body reinforces the double standard related to sexuality between men and women. Ultimately, being sexual is “stigmatized in women, but encouraged in men” (Heldman, Part 2). This double standard, combined with the expectations of passivity, reinforces the concept of rape culture. Women are expected to refrain from sex in order to embody purity and thus, are defined by what they do not do.
Of course, one almost intuitively understands that the novel’s leading women adhere rather closely to socio-gender norms; both Adeline and Clara, the two women who most represent Radcliffe’s idealized morality, are traditionally beautiful, focus on emotional intelligence via poetry and music rather than on scientific pursuits, and represent the appealing innocence of ingénues. In the same manner that Adeline’s unconsciousness contributes to her integrity, it also appears that her extensive physical beauty results in part from her inherent saintliness, her beautiful eyes linked to some intrinsic purity (7). Further highlighting this ethical preference for femininity, Adeline exhibits fear related directly to the presence of men; in the Marquis’s chateau, her terror specifically abates when she realizes that “elegant” and “beautiful” women surround her, and later the inverse occurs as she balks in fear at “the voices of men” (158, 299). On some level, Adeline seems to recognize that masculinity poses a significant threat to her, and instinctively shies away from its
For many centuries in our society women have been confined into a stereotypical idea of a patriarchal society. In today 's society the idea isn’t as much viewed upon with all the rights women have been given, but the concept still lingers in some of men 's minds. More so, than today, in the 19th century women were obligated to abide to the principle of gender roles and a male dominated culture. Women were seen as to be a slave and to act a certain way towards men as well as be able to gratify man 's lust of expectations of a perfect woman. These presumptions of women had been very much portrayed in short story , The Chaser by John Collier, in which a boy name Alan Austen seeks for a love potion from an old man, for a girl he likes name Diana.
The setting in “The Horse Dealer’s Daughter” continues to convey the theme that women have been oppressed by society. Mabel faces oppression in the small english town where the story takes place. She explains that being a women does not matter as much when a family has money, but when they are poor she has to walk down the streets with her eyes low and avoid eye contact as she buys the cheapest item in every store (Lawrence 458). This shows that when a woman is seen as being represented by someone with power, in this case it is her father, then they are given a little respect. However, when a women is looked at just as herself and not as a rich man’s daughter she is not seen a colleague to men but as an object that is to be pitied.
Within the past year, the treatment and perceptions of women have been challenged due to the various marches and movements. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s romance, The Scarlet Letter, presents how women were viewed in a Puritan society, falling into a rigid dichotomy of either being the “saint” or “sinner.” This is otherwise known as the “Madonna/Whore complex,” which is explored through the life of the novel’s protagonist, Hyster Prynne. Her struggles and experiences through this dichotomy ultimately affect her both physically and emotionally as it represses her femininity.
Figure 2 and 3 exemplify women presented in a submissive and docile image. In figure 2, there is a direct eye contact to the camera which conveys a personal address to the reader. It allows the audience to be captivated in the seductive qualities of her body. However, the use of black around her eye helps to accentuate salacious look upon her face. Furthermore, white fur and jewelry in her costuming portrays this ideal of wealth and affluence that women should be aspiring for to attract the ‘right man’.
The argument presented is that women have been, since the dawn of time, demoted to the level of animals, used by men for procreation and pleasure, treated or maltreated as the master (man) deems fit. For her, this is “patriarchy – a system of female oppression stretching as far back as literary (and Biblical) texts could take us.” (2) Janet Saltzman Chafez describes seven areas of traditional masculinity in Western culture: physical (strong), functional (provider), sexual (sexually aggressive), emotional (unemotional), intellectual (rational), interpersonal (leader, dominating, disciplinarian), and other personal characteristics (proud, egotistical, decisive, uninhibited)(3) . Helene Cixous is concerned with the issue of a characteristically female or feminine mode of writing- ‘ecriturefeminenene’. “This involves the idea of a woman’s language by its diversity and multiplicity, a language opposed to patriarchal language, a language where fluidity opposes the order and logic of standard writing where women are assigned to the margins.”
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.
Eliza Haywood writes the cautionary tale Fantomina in order to instruct women against pursuing their sexual desires. The protagonist, an unnamed “Lady of distinguished Birth” (41), secretly pursued her desires for Beauplaisir under the guise of four different personas, ultimately leading to the ruin of her reputation and being sent to live in a monastery. I will refer to the main character when she is not disguised as the protagonist to avoid confusion. I will be discussing female sexuality, where I will be focussing on certain aspects including sexual identity, sexual behaviour, and how social and religious aspects affect this sexuality. I will argue that Haywood uses the cautionary tale in order to represent female sexuality as distinguishable
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.