Women In The Fair Jilt

Powerful Essays
In “The Fair Jilt,” Miranda’s character is a manipulative and ill-natured woman whose behaviors connect her to the traditional view of women being innately evil. Behn’s presentation of a woman who conforms to stereotypical behaviors is puzzling considering the grave need for women writers who tell their stories and demonstrate that women cannot be defined by stereotypes. Despite the appearance of Behn accepting these harmful stereotypes, her use of them allows her to reveal the underlying factors that cause women to “misbehave” and results in them being characterized as villains. In early literature, stories about women who swindle ignorant men for societal advancement or women who cuckold their husbands are often used to define all women…show more content…
As one of the most beautiful and talented women in her religious home, Miranda receives this desire in the form of lessons on noble conversations and visits from several male suitors accompanied by a plethora of gifts including “presents, balls, serenades, and billets” (Behn 32). Her narcissistic need for attention leads her to entertain many suitors and accept their gifts in a manner that Behn describes as fickle. Miranda’s fickleness is characterized as a byproduct of a love affliction that makes her naturally amorous and gives “quality alone…the power to attack her entirely” (Behn 33). The critical state that she is in after losing both of her parents and her narcissism elevates her desires for attention, which can be attributed as the cause of her fickleness. Miranda also entertains many suitors because her time in the religious home is limited. Shortly, Miranda will have to abandon the place that helped her grieve and provided her with the level of attention that satiated her narcissistic desires in her time of distress. Therefore, this state of fickleness she expresses in entertaining numerous suitors is merely her pursuit of someone who can provide her with the same attention she receives during her time at the religious
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