In Dracula, the two leading ladies, Mina and Lucy, represent the two stereotypes of women that existed during the time period. The way each woman is described frames them directly against one another, because even if they are close friends, a woman’s worth is determined by how she is compared to other women. Each woman is described, as in Frankenstein, relative to their position to men and how they interacted with men. Moving past Jonathan’s time in Transylvania and back to London, the two main women, Mina and Lucy, are both markedly feminine. They don’t do anything that is “improper” by society’s standards, which makes them worthy of the respect and attention that the male characters pay them.
The saying goes, “Behind every great man is a great woman,” and, in some medieval romances, that great woman is scheming for her own benefit (and either for or contrary to that of the man’s). Feminine honor is tied to being a good wife, which means being sexually faithful to and obeying. In Bisclavret by Marie de France, Bisclavret’s wife betrays him both by taking away his humanity and by taking a lover, and for that, she is disfigured as her punishment. The inverse occurs in The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnelle: Ragnelle, disfigured by her stepmother, manipulates both Arthur and Gawain to secure her marriage with Gawain, and she is rewarded with beauty. These women are ultimately judged not by their manipulative actions but
While reading the epic, the roles of women seen are the adulteress, who lures characters away from good; the wife, who keeps things in order and represents proper behavior; and the goddess, who supports the plotline and characters. Though the roles of women are not significantly noted by the author within the epic tale, it is important to identify the roles of females in such ancient times. As they were not valued as individuals, but rather as prizes, women lacked recognition. This is a continuity into the modern era, which can begin to be rectified by the identification of female power in places one would not normally look, such as a tale where the protagonist is male. Perhaps women are dishonored in literature, but that doesn’t mean the female race must be dishonored in the
Three examples of the role of women in Beowulf are the hostess, peace-weaver, and monster. The hostess, played by the Queen of Danes expresses the hospitality, authority, and respect given to a few women of status. In addition to the hostess, the peace-weaver bonded two clans through birth symbolizing peace and equality for both groups. Opposite to the peace-weaver and hostess the monster in Beowulf reflected through the thoughts of ancient society. For example, a female that did follow the duties of women would be known as an outcast in the village.
It sets some sort of boundary or Guidelines that the women must stay in to be holding this power. A perfect example of this demand of respect and honor is in the ultimatum that Queen Gunnchild gives to Hrut and Ozur. Where Ozur says “The moment we refuse her invitation, she will hound us out of the country and seize all we own; but if we accept [her invitation], she will treat us as handsomely as she has promised” (43). Gunnhild knows that she is noble and should be honored, this is what caused her to reject anything that fell short to her assumptions. The conclusion that can be drawn from this is that women in a powerful place in Icelandic society would also be wanting respect and honor.
Edna fully understands that society would brand her as a terrible woman, but she does not view herself as a bad person. There is an external and internal difference that Edna hopes to one day reconcile. Chopin, instead of creating tension within Edna, created tension within the society and Edna with her newfound independence does not mind how society classifies her. Decisively, it can be concluded that the tension between outward conformity and inward questioning builds the meaning of the novel by examining Edna’s role as a wife, mother, and as nontraditional woman in the traditional Victorian period.
A Secret Sorrow by Karen van der Zee and “A Sorrowful Woman” by Gail Godwin provide a variance on typical romance stories. A typical romance story consists of a damsel in distress and a happy ending, much like a fairy tale. Neither of the two stories are quite like this generic scenario. I like “A Sorrowful Woman” better because it strays more from a stereotypical romance story than A Secret Sorrow. Between theme, conflict, and gender stereotypes, A Secret Sorrow and “A Sorrowful Woman” have much to compare.
Lady Capulet is a woman with nobility, and whatever she does follows her husband, Lord Capulet’s will. She enjoys the rich, and she is particularly a good mother. However, Juliet is more close to the Nurse than Lady Capulet. In the script, it seems like Lady Capulet has no support and compassionate for her daughter, but the Nurse does. One of the biggest reason for Juliet being closer to the Nurse is that the Nurse is more caring and always tries to respect Juliet’s opinion.
Frog Princes and Princesses In many fairy tales, the beauty of the heroine is always emphasized. Not only for the heroine, but the hero is always a handsome prince. The heroine is also portrayed as young and weak, and the hero is handsome, rich, and brave. But does this impact the way men and women are viewed in society in a good or bad way?
Natalie Zemon Davis highlights Bertrande’s role in The Return of Martin Guerre. In doing so, she explores the little regarded world of female peasantry. Bertrande is a woman with two seemingly contradictory desires in life: a desire for independence and a desire to uphold her reputation as a virtuous woman (28). In a medieval society where womanly virtue is based off of obedience to the males in one’s life, these desires appear contradictory; independence in a woman is dangerous because she will be prone to disobedience, and disobedience would stain her appearance of womanly virtue.
The heroines are usually beautiful, and ugliness is seen as a sign of evil in 17 percent of the stories. (Hanafy) Thus, as stated by Grauerholz there becomes an “ association between beauty and goodness and then conversely between ugliness and evil..” (qtd. in Hanafy). When a villainess acts out against the heroine, as seen in the characters of Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty, and the Evil Queen in Snow White, they do not act from any intelligible source of anger but rather from jealousy (mostly stemming from beauty) and pure malice, therefore furthering the reader and/or listeners negative connotation of powerful women, and instead reinstating one’s compassion, and relatability for the distressed heroine.
Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales contains two comparable tales; “The Knights Tale” and “The Miller’s Tale.” These two tales show contradicting realities of love while exploring how to win someone over. Both stories display more than one man trying to win the attention of a woman. To begin, the love in “The Knights Tale” represents courtly love.
Iconic fairy tales such as Grimm Brother's Cinderella and Snow White are not innocent tales about young girls achieving their dreams but are rather misogynist stories. The two fairy tales have the similarity of involving a young girl who is oppressed by a wicked step mother then later on, the girl is saved by marrying a prince. One can discover the misogynist and the men controlled society by examining how the writers represent women in their fairytales. Both, Cinderella and Snow White can be dissected and analyzed through the Feminist theory. The two tales contain gender roles stereotypes, unrealistic importance of superficial beauty and the view of men as salvation for the girl's oppressed lives.
The Authors, a student and a Professor of history at Rutgers University Nancy Hewitt, uses data from modern western fairytales to define gender roles created within these stories. She takes a four step approach to defining gender roles within fairytales first by defining what makes up a modern day fairy tale. She defines the classic heroine fairy tale as an introduction to every contemporary fairy tale that she dissects within the essay. The Heroine theme is a base for all contemporary fairy tales and this theme shows many monolithic gender stereotypes within it. A classic stereotype of women within the Heroine theme is how they are left helpless waiting for their savor.