Greek Mythology is notoriously anti-female revolution. From Aeschylus’s depiction of Clytemnestra’s thirst for power to one’s own Euripides’ depiction of Medea’s rampage of revenge, Greek mythology is terrified of powerful women. The Bacchae by Euripides makes no exception and continues stifling female empowerment; however, Euripides adds his own unique spin on terrifying female depiction. Instead of just representing women in power as monsters to fear, he instead blames femininity as the culprit. He uses the Bacchae, Dionysus, and Pentheus as examples of the danger in accessing one’s own femininity. The Bacchae’s own control of their sexuality, as Pentheus describes “They creep off one by one to lonely spots to have sex with men”, and their feminine features, as their breasts swell and their hair cascades, creates an example of women gone wild with power over themselves
In Woman Hollering Creek Cleofilas is a mother that is abused and goes through hardships and wants to be in love. Cleofilas is obsessed with Spanish soap operas. She fantasizes about them and wants her life to be like that when she marries and moves to Texas with Juan Pedro. She gets the opposite of that with her husband. Juan Pedro is an abusive no good husband. He cheats on Cleofilas and always complains to her. “He slapped her once, and then again, and again; until the lip split and bled an orchid of blood (Cisneros).” Cleofilas lets this abusive behavior keep up until she gets examined by a doctor and is offered to be taken back to Mexico by a woman named Felice. She owns her own truck and this makes Cleofilas astonished that a woman can afford one by herself.
The role of a woman in society has always fit into a perfect box. Women were expected to be the dutiful wife, loving mother and housekeeper for her family. Betty Friedan wrote The Feminine Mystique, in 1963 hoping to unveil the truth behind women’s thoughts about their role in society. Friedan exposed that things were not always, as they seemed for the average mother and homemaker in the 1950s and 1960s. Kate Chopin wrote The Awakening in the 1850’s which told the story of Edna Pontillier and her struggles as a housewife and finding her true identity. These two literary works captured how women really felt about their everyday lives. They displayed that women were often unhappy and felt unfulfilled regardless that they were living the lifestyle
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. She has been brainwashed by the patriarchal society of her time to worship the man, her husband, and perform her duties and daily rituals as a means to please him. Welter outlines several characteristics that constitute the perfect or true woman; however, the most crucial and detrimental so-called “virtues” exhibited by Gilman`s the narrator are her submissiveness and domesticity. Although the artistic narrator clearly has her own desires to be free and write as she pleases, her desire to satisfy the patriarchal construct of the household by attending
The nature of womanhood, or what we perceive as the inherent proclivities that govern only those born as a woman, is often the base argument for the unequal treatment of the female sex. Women are weak, natural-born mothers, unfit to do much else beyond simple household chores and rearing children. This portrait of women seems almost comical in its antiquity; however, we cannot disregard the past, as it shapes the present. The question of the nature of womanhood is rarely allowed nuance, which is a shame, because womanhood can be many, often contradictory things. Instead, the traits we often associate with womanhood stem from society’s projection of what women should be, not necessarily what they are. English novelist Marian Evans Lewes exists counter to 1800’s European beliefs of womanhood. Instead of adhering to society’s standards, she adopts the pen name of a man and becomes a successful author, avoiding judgement for her work based solely on her gender. In her letter to Melusina Fay Peirce, however,
As with all theories, this feminist approach to Louise Halfe’s “Body Politics” does not come without its flaws. While it can be argued that this poem criticizes the performativity of feminine gender roles in a patriarchal society, this cannot be proven definitively without knowing the author’s original intentions. Furthermore, the poem does not give its readers enough information to conclude that the society the women live in is in fact a patriarchal society. This becomes evident, as there is no reference to any masculine figure – so any assumptions about the masculine-dominant culture are purely speculative. It is possible that Halfe wrote this poem in an attempt to challenge the gender binary, however one stands to question how successfully she is in doing so. In Butler’s theory, she introduces the idea that each woman’s feminism is her
Loose Women, is a collection of poetry written by Sandra Cisneros. A wonderful collection of words that speak to the beauty, disgusting, painful, extraordinary things about love, sexuality, women, bodies. Throughout the novel Cisneros revels in sort of “bad girl” image: however the overall persona is that of a passionate, sexual woman who’s had her share of both joy and disappointment. We all know Sandra Cisneros roots come from Mexico and is from Mexican American immigrant family and the culture for her is very different. I can relate to Cisneros’ culture different, since I am from Indian and in India women are considered to be the goddess from ancient time, however they are not being treated like goddess. Cisneros poetic style makes the book easier to read and comprehend and I think her Mexican roots play big part of her writing. In the book Loose Woman, the author seems to be talking about herself in each poems and is trying to express woman’s journey through the collections of her poems. Through her poems Cisneros’ voice shows love, hate and all the stages of feelings the woman goes through and sends message of bravery.
Sandra Cisneros is a writer who spoke through her poetry and short stories. Cisneros faced adversity because she was female writer who was not afraid to write how she felt. As Rivera explains, “The predominant image of docile, submissive, nurturing, and effacing women who relegate their own needs and personal desires to tend to needs of others, particularly the men and children in their families, gives way to literary representations of assertive, self-supporting, tenacious, and strong- willed women who assume control of their lives and circumstances.” Cisneros reminded people throughout her writing the women face challenges, but can overcome obstacles because they are strong and determined. In the stories “Barbie-Q” and “His story” Cisneros shows the true aspect of female characters and how they overcome adversity and challenges. These stories support Rivera’s statement about Cisneros writing.
From its very beginning, the genre of the novel developed in literature with the intent of describing fictional human experiences built in an imaginary world, but that can be based upon a true story, as they always enclose a slight realism. In the novels, female characters are portrayed in many different ways. In the books analyzed, these females are not the protagonists of the tales, however, they are described, more or less, as influential women, who have significant roles in the evolving of the stories; in particular, their function in the narrative is crucial and it shifts from supportive and inspirational to adversary and puzzling. The actions that these women take, the words they say and the connections they make, have the power to influence the protagonist’s thoughts and shape the novel. Both Great
Christopher McDougall, an American author and journalist, once said, “It takes a woman to bring out the best in a man.” Even though this quote can be applied to many different situations in life, its meaning cannot be more germane than in John Wyndham’s, The Chrysalids. In the novel, Waknuk society regards women only as breeders and not as human beings. Women are powerless for they practically have no rights in their society and their sole purpose is to please their husbands and take care of their household. However, what many people in Waknuk society overlook is the importance of women in society and the key role they play in changing people’s lives. This is best proven by examining David, the main character in the novel, and his interactions
To illustrate, Diaz states, “Anywhere else his triple-zero batting average with the ladies might have passed without comment, but this is a Dominican kid… in a Dominican family… Everybody noticed his lack of game and because they were Dominican everybody talked about it (Diaz 24). Oscar lacked the most significant qualities a Dominican male is supposed to have, being good looking and having ‘game.’ It’s noticeable that he’s different, which leads to him getting criticized by his own family. This criticism pushes him to change himself because he does not feel comfortable being who he truly is since his culture doesn’t accept him. He has to give up parts of his identity and give into societal and familial pressure. Oscar believes that he has to conform to the role his culture has placed on him of being a playboy. As a result he begins exercising and feeling concerned about his sexual life. Similarly, his sister Lola, is also forced to follow these gender roles put in place. For instance, Lola explains, “I was the one cooking, cleaning, doing the washing, buying groceries… I stayed at home and made sure Oscar was fed and everything ran right… I raised him… You’re my hija, she said, that’s what you’re supposed to be doing” (Diaz 56). It’s evident that the women in the Dominican culture are looked at as just housewives from a very young age. This reflects how gender roles are perpetuated in their society. This distinct view of women isn’t only used by men but also by women themselves. They’ve been boxed into these standards for so long that they pass it along to their daughters and normalize it. Lola’s own mother says that this is what she’s supposed to be doing because she’s the daughter, illuminating how all of these duties are placed solely on the women. Taking care of not only the house but, the men of the house is what makes her the “perfect”
In her collection of short stories, Moths and Other Short Stories, Helena Maria Viramontes elaborates on the importance machismo has on struggles of Chicano women in their daily lives. In the short story, “Growing”, Naomi is faced with the struggle of growing up in a “machista” household where transitioning to womanhood means to forgo any trace of childhood. In another short story, “Birthday”, Alice is faced with the struggle of an unwanted pregnancy and a decision to terminate the pregnancy. Through the use of plot and diction, both of Viramontes’s short stories “Growing” and “Birthday” illustrate the influence machismo has on the norms and gender roles of women to grow up and bear children, in order to emphasize the characters breaking through
A major theme in Hosseini's book, A Thousand Splendid Suns is sexism, violence, and the ideology that men have complete control over their wives or people in general. It can not only alter a person directly but it can also change other characters in the book that are close to them and can make them suffer with things not even associated with violence in their story. Violence and sexism can deteriorate a character's intimate and distant acts and can emphasize their status as a character which can be symbolic in the way the characters personality changes because of the violence afflicted to them.
This chapter provides a review of available literature on social issues in To the Lighthouse. The basic focus is on the social issues related to every character in the novel. Issues like feminism, marriages, death, vision, religious doubts, optimism, pessimism, materialism etc. The relative work is connected to the objectives of the study. Mrs. Ramsay uniting family, and Charles Tansley religious doubts and degrading women, and Lily’s painting, similarly the marriages of Victorian and Modern Age through the characters of To the Lighthouse, and at the end how they all deal and respond to all these different social issues.
The role of women in literature crosses many broad spectrums in works of the past and present. Women are often portrayed as weak and feeble individuals that submit to the situations around them, but in many cases women are shown to be strong, independent individuals. This is a common theme that has appeared many times in literature. Across all literature, there is a common element that causes the suffering and pain of women. This catalyst, the thing that initiates the suffering of women, is essentially always in the form of a man. These themes can be clearly seen in the short stories Chopin’s “The Story Of An hour”, Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”, and Hurston’s “Sweat”. These pieces of literature strongly portray how women are seen in instances