Until the wave of feminism occurred in the 1970s, women’s societal roles were primarily that of caretakers of the home and mothers. Given the patriarchal society’s misogynistic views of women, any defiance from a woman was seen as rebellious. Geoffrey Chaucer in The Canterbury Tales creates characters that defy and uphold these diminishing views of women throughout various tales. In the first tale, “The Knight’s Tale,” Emily displays relatively positive feminine characteristics through her exhibition of courtly love. Her presentation of purity contrasts the medieval opinion of women as being deceitful, which is evident in future tales.
She may have wanted vengeance, but that did not happen as much as scapegoating like when Abigail scapegoated Tituba. Abigail blamed Tituba for witchcraft because Abigail did not want the blame and Tituba was an easy scapegoat since she is black. Abigail yelled at Paris, “She made me do it! She made Betty do it!”(1.905). This is just one of the victims of Abigail scapegoating.
From the publication of East of Eden to today the rights and empowerment of women have escalated exponentially. Women are no longer obligated to follow the nurturing mother ideal; they can be independent and strong. Then, in the novel, East of Eden, some believe the author oversimplifies his female characters by filing them into either traditional, caring mothers or heinous villains. However, Steinbeck utilizes their simple, one-dimensional archetypes to show how complex his female roles truly are through subtle details. Within the novel, most female characters are designated into the class of typical, loving mother types, but they are each defined separately within their cohort.
The problem was a damned if she does and damned if she does not. This accusation of a woman being a witch meant that “their feminine souls made an explicit and aggressive choice to conjoin with the devil” (Reis, 94). Puritans believed they were not just manipulated by Satan, they willingly desired to be possessed by him. This was aggressive stance most Puritan men had towards Puritan women. Satan could get to their soul through their body because it was weak.
Throughout history, women have had to fight against stigma and stereotypes in society. In every era, from the ancient world to present day, females have been persecuted and taken advantage of due to their gender. In our previous set of readings, the female protagonists were strong characters who defied weak stereotypes, but were still viewed as lesser beings than men. In our second group of readings, where were written more recently, women saw a slight increase in their sovereignty. All depict women as powerful figures who use their wits to make a better life for themselves.
During the American Modernist period the first wave of feminism emerged during this period which many of its characteristics is seen in The House of Mirth. Women actively sought changes that would allow them to experience life as men’s equals rather than as their subordinates. Gender roles were rigidly defined, and women who resisted them were often ignored, and/or criticized. As a result of these and many other limiting factors, women, especially wives, were significantly dependent on men. In Edith Wharton's Arguments with America, Elizabeth Ammons notes that: The culture at large boasted symbols of progress like the world-famous Woman's Building or the Amazonian Gibson Girl, announcements each of the modern woman's freedom from Victorian strictures...With this enthusiasm in the air, Edith Wharton sounded a sour, dissenting note.
At that point in time Mary Warren and John Proctor both tried to prove Abigail Williams and the other girls of faking it until, act 4 when she backstabbed John Proctor and made her own claim that John Proctor was satan.”You’re the devil’s man.” (Miller 110). Mary knows what Abigail was always a threat and being on her side was an advantage, John Proctor was foolish for thinking Mary would keep her word and tell on the girls. He out of all people should know how powerful Abigail
Some of these characters are Abigail Williams, Deputy Governor Danforth and Reverend Parris. Abigail certainly abused her power once she realized, at the end of Act One, how powerful an accuser can be, she seized that role. Abigail also gained her power as women in Salem were the lowest class with few or no options in life. They usually worked as servants until they are old enough to marry. Abigail was also under the spell of John Proctor who took away her innocence when he committed adultery with her.
Throughout the course of the nineteen twenties a woman’s role in society began to change. They started to become more independent and self serving. Although women were beginning to rebel during this time, Fitzgerald expresses the way women were categorized before the change within his novel. In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald explores the subordination and derogation of women during the nineteen twenties. By doing so, he showcases them as unworthy, and does not give them proper recognition in how they were valued.
The role of women in “The Canterbury Tales” were as untrustworthy, selfish and vain and often like caricatures not like real people at all. A character that stood out and did not care on how she was looked at was The Wife of Bath. The wife appears to be more outspoken and independent than most women of medieval times, she became a symbolize for women and her character change the literature world. This tells us a lot about the roles men and women had to be in. The wife of Bath and Alison from “The Miller’s Tale” were simply women who acted in a way that simply is not acceptable, but if it was men doing it there is was okay some what like today’s society.
In the 1800’s and even the 1900’s women were not considered as equal as they are today, and misogyny was expected. Even still women are constantly fighting for equal rights, so the idea of men always having power or superiority over women hasn’t gone away. Considering that the two texts The Yellow Wallpaper and The Story of an Hour were both written in the early 1880’s, they have a very different approach to the men and women’s relationships that are present in the texts. In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s, Yellow Wallpaper and Kate Chopin’s, The Story of an Hour both authors explore how the women in the stories have to hide their true identity, due to the influence of the men in their lives. The two writers each use similes/metaphors, a similar mood throughout the story and a great deal of imagery to outline how