Comparing Women in The Bell Jar and Enormous Changes at the Last Minute

1019 Words Jun 18th, 2018 5 Pages
Exploitation of Women Exposed in The Bell Jar and Enormous Changes at the Last Minute

In their manifesto, the Redstockings argued that the relationship between men and women was a class relationship, and that the men repressed and controlled the women. The women were objects, and the men owned them. They said that, as a class, women "are exploited as sex objects, breeders, domestic servants, and cheap labor" by the male class(Bloom, Takin' it to the Streets, 486). Many of the women characters in The Bell Jar and Enormous Changes at the Last Minute give us examples of this repression and exploitation.

In both The Bell Jar and Enormous Changes at the Last Minute, we often see women as being subordinate to men. For
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However, because of her role as servant, it is perfectly acceptable for her to perform this task.

The final aspect of the exploitation of women is their use as cheap labor. In "Distance", the main character works as an afternoon cashier. This is among the jobs that are acceptable for women. In The Bell Jar, Esther does not know shorthand, so she "could be a waitress or a typist"(Plath, 103). Again, we see women restricted to certain roles. All of these jobs earn a low wage, and all of them put the woman in the position of serving others. None of these jobs carries with it any authority. Jobs associated with authority are reserved for men.

As the Redstockings said in their manifesto, women are "considered inferior beings, whose only purpose is to enhance men's lives"(Bloom, 486). As a class, men exploit them for personal use, both economically and sexually. They do everything they can to keep women in an inferior position. This repression is so pervasive that it is even found in the language of the women themselves. Correcting this problem is not a matter of changing individual relationships within the society. As the manifesto says, "the conflicts between individual men and women are political conflicts that can only be solved collectively"(486). In order for things to improve, there must be some change in society at a base

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