For centuries, women have been exploited by the society. Events of women being prohibited from doing things like voting or working and being forced to behave the way it is considered to be socially acceptable have been jotted down in history. Until today women are still viewed as the weaker sex. In some countries, women are regarded less than human and are treated like slaves. Khaled Hosseini goes into the oppression of women in his novel A Thousand Splendid Suns.
Gender stereotypes have been around for hundreds of years and still are today. The stereotypes for women are strict in regards to jobs and homelife, behavior, and even attire. They keep a firm hold on women 's daily life, so whenever women get the opportunity for power, they will take it. Ken Kesey’s novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo 's Nest, strongly features the stereotypes of women and, adversely, women in power; Kesey displays his opinion that women in power will abuse their status to manipulate men. One aspect of Kesey’s display of his distaste for influential women, is displayed through the character, Nurse Ratched (Big Nurse).
Women were viewed as the weaker sex. They were thought to be fragile and dependent. Gender roles were strictly divided with the woman placed firmly in the home, in charge of domestic tasks and childcare. However, when their husbands, sons, fathers and brothers joined the military during the Civil War, many women obtained new roles at home. Others decided to assist the war effort as nurses, spies and even soldiers.
In a male dominated society, women are forced to conform to the moulds that have been prescribed for them. When they do not fit into the categories that have been defined for them, they face ultimate rejection and suffer the consequences of non-conformity. This male dictated view of women is evident in the writings of 19th Century women writers who unconsciously view society through the perspectives that have been imprinted in their minds by society. A case in point is Kate Chopin through her work, Desiree’s Baby which chronicles the tale of an abandoned baby that is raised by a wealthy couple, the Valmonde’s. They were childless and raised her lovingly as their own.
In her novel “Beloved” author Toni Morrison explores femininity, breaking it down into motherhood and sexuality, and examines how trauma effects these concepts. Through her use of flashbacks and analysis of the woman Sethe becomes because of trauma, the reader understands the difficulty of her “Rough Choice.” Slavery was an equally devastating experience for both men and women, who were torn from their homeland, family and tradition, then forced to work. They performed grueling labor and were denied their most basic rights; all while being subjected to mental and physical degradation. Enslaved people were beaten without mercy, separated from loved ones, and, regardless of sex, treated as property in the eyes of the law. Despite these common factors, the
“Woman was inferior to man in all ways except the unique one that counted most (to man): her femininity.” This essay seeks to examine the way in which social progress is evident in society with regards to the way in which women existed historically in society and how their desire to progress was manifested both literally and figuratively. This will be done through the analysis of both the novel The Colour Purple as well as the 2010 Tim Burton version of the film Alice in Wonderland. Social Progress Social progress can be explained as the advancements that have been noted in the changing balance of power between men and woman throughout time. History is marked by patriarchy and in turn female submission. Progress in terms of this focus are
The novels Sula and Beloved, both by Toni Morrison, are perfect manifestations of the misery’s of the African-American mother’s and the portrayal of strong female characters who must go through journey’s of self identity. In both stories Morrison is able to show the impact and trauma that years of slavery, patriarchy, and being treated differently has on the emotions and decision makings of the black female community in a male dominated society. One of slavery’s greatest influences would have to be the absence of fathers in the family’s. This dearth is the main reason of the maternal roles to dominate throughout the novels. Throughout Sula each female character identifies her own gender roles in the society.
The world is a vast dwelling of individuals with several different principles and cultures. However, a principle that seems to be prevalent in the world is gender inequality. Gender inequality is a term used to represent the mistreatment and unfairness of individuals based on their gender. Many have brought awareness to the issue, like writer Jamaica Kincaid. Jamaica Kincaid is a writer from Antigua in the British West Indies who was rejected by her family because of her career choice.
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy depicts the inner lives and hardships women in a patriarchal society face. Roy provides a reflection of the social injustice in India in the form of abusive and tyrannical males who abuse women - both physically and psychologically. The novel is a vehicle for the author to express her disillusionment with the postcolonial social conditions. This response will critically analyse the lives of the female characters in Roy’s novel, specifically Mammachi and Ammu and explore the ways they have been marginalised. Mammachi, the mother of Ammu and Chacko is representative of the older generation of women in the novel and is a victim of oppression and discrimination at the hands of her husband, Pappachi.
Letty Cottin Pogrebin, an American author, once said that “when men are oppressed, it's a tragedy. When women are oppressed, it's tradition”. Women have been oppressed for years, always living in a world where men are put first and seen as superior. It has just become tradition and the way that we go about living our lives. As it is so widely seen, these beliefs are translated into the media, books, films, etc.