In Lives of Girls and Women, people grow out of reading. As the protagonist Del says, reading “persisted mostly in unmarried ladies, would have been shameful in a man” (Munro, 117). As in The Bell Jar, women in Lives of Girls and Women who are educated and who are professionals are seen as masculine and immature. Mature and marriageable women learn to use make-up and to flaunt their physical beauty. Del overturns this rule by memorizing poetry and doing well academically. Both Esther and Del feel that academic achievements best define and express their sexuality, though not necessarily enhancing their sexual lives. While the bored, rich girls in The Bell Jar spend most of their time painting their nails and getting a tan, Esther feels out of place among the idle and the fashion-conscious. Her friend Doreen admits that at her college, all the girls “had pocket-book covers made out of the same material as their dresses”(Plath, 5). The night that Doreen returns drunken from the apartment of a stranger named Lenny, Esther closes her door on her friend but does not have the heart to lock it. Thus, Esther successfully shuts out the false societal values of female sexuality for a while, but acknowledges that her form of sexuality must co-exist with that of Doreen and of other females in her society.
In every society each gender’s behavioral response is often a reflection of the societal influences that have been instilled since birth. In every society each gender is subjected to certain roles. Males having to suppress their emotions while women are able to be emotional beings. Women being shunned for exhibiting characteristics of the opposite sex. Although, we live in a society that harps on individuality and self-expression, it is clear that this only applies when individuals do not feel inferior. Additionally, self-expression is only situational and accepted based off of certain agendas. In the following story, Porphyria’s Lover by Robert Browning, we are able to analyze how a male reacts to feeling inferior to a woman. In The Yellow Wallpaper, which is written by Charlotte Perkins, we are able to analyze how her husband’s lack of understanding and inability to communicate with his wife ultimately leads to her insanity. In each of these stories, gender roles are being depicted in a negative and positive way. Through the character’s actions were able to learn how society views each gender in the time in which the story takes place.
A number of the stories, graphic memoirs and poems we discussed in class have introduced us to women who have been trapped in some way in their lives. Henrik Ibsen’s A Dolls House (1879) and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” (1892) both demonstrate women being trapped by men in a patriarchal society in the nineteenth century. However, Joyce Carol Oates’ “Where are you going, where have you been?”(1974), Jamaica Kincaid’s short story “Girl” (1978) and Marjane Satrapi’s graphic novel Persepolis (2005) are about social norms and girls being sexualized at a young age in the 20th century.
Sexual transgression and sexual exploration is one of the most highly talked about topics in today’s society. The path to sexual liberation within society begins with experimentation and exploration, followed by personal acceptance, and finally, although not always, societal acceptance. Although we have come a long way on the path of acceptance of different sexual transgressions, the stories of Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, Tennessee Williams’ “Vieux Carre,” and Lyle Saxon’s “The Centaur Plays Croquet” show that this type of acceptance has not always been the case. Each story plays an integral role when looking at the steps on the path to societal acceptance. Chopin 's story dives deep into the area of experimentation and exploration, whereas Saxon 's story looks more at the areas of personal acceptance, and Williams ' story lies more along the area of societal acceptance, and whether or not acceptance is always the end result.
Another major display of a shift in gender roles is the infamous anal rape scene. Ed and Bobby, who is the most effeminate of the group, are taken captive by two (likely) inbred woodland men. These men, pariahs to society, become embodiments of the defilement of nature experienced earlier in the novel, the trash in the river and the poultry processing plant. To Dickey, Man’s encroachment upon nature has not only led to the industrialization that plows fields and fells forests, or littered the wild with our excess and excrement, it has made humanity unable to reunite itself with nature. Once man has defiled a region with our technology and our influence, we may never go back “Dickey's novel suggests that there is no free territory…” (Entzminger). These mountain men have ostracized themselves from society, searching for a way to shake off the shackles of cultural expectation. However, in their attempt to become one with nature they have simply perverted it.
During the nineteenth and twentieth century there was a number of changes made in America. Woman were looked at as less than back then and to a certain degree they still are today. There was a number of women that died or went insane because of the standards that they had to meet in order to be considered good women. In this research paper I will talk about the experience of the narrator of The Yellow Wallpaper and Blanche DuBois from the story A Streetcar Named Desire. It will be shown within these pages how the moral and societal standards for women were far different than they were for men, and how the standards changed over the years. Furthermore it will be shown how this effected the women of those two stories.
Gender roles have been a hotly debated topic in the most recent years, especially the role of women in society. Women have had set expectations that they are believed to conform to, which is shown in many pieces of film and literature. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald describes the life of a man in the upper class in the 1920’s, as well as women in the 1920’s. The movie The Princess Bride, written by William Goldman, visually explains the treatment and expectations of women, and especially focuses on the “damsel in distress” stereotype.. Roxane Gay’s “Bad Feminist” explains the stereotypes against women and ways women can come together and fight these constraints. Based on these sources, societal expectations take away from each individual’s identity, forcing women to conform to society's standards. In order to fight against these expectations, women have banded together and formed movements against these standards.
Sexuality has an inherent connection to human nature. Yet, even in regards to something so natural, societies throughout times have imposed expectations and gender roles upon it. Ultimately, these come to oppress women, and confine them within the limits that the world has set for them. However, society is constantly evolving, and within the past 200 years, the role of women has changed. These changes in society can be seen within the intricacies of literature in each era. Specifically, through analyzing The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne and The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, one can observe the dynamics of society in regards to the role of women through the lens of the theme of sexuality. In both novels, the confinement and oppression of women can be visibly seen as a result of these gender roles. Yet, from the time The Scarlet Letter was published to the time The Bell Jar was written, the place of women in society ultimately changed as well. Hence when evaluating the gender roles that are derived from sexuality, the difference between the portrayals of women’s oppression in each novel becomes apparent, and shows how the subjugation of women has evolved. The guiding question of this investigation is to what extent does the theme of sexuality reflect the expectations for women in society at the time each novel was written. The essay will explore how the literary elements that form each novel demonstrate each author’s independent vision which questions the
For centuries, society has taught its men and women to behave in a clear way and to expect certain things from each other. Due to this, women have been placed second, below men, the submissive gender. Women have been taught to aspire to marriage, to not be too smart, to live their life according to society who tells them how to please a man. In fact, when women saw this degradation of themselves they decided to create a movement known as feminism, the social, economic and political equality of the sexes. Due to this standard of society passed through generations, an average reader would interpret Joan Murray’s “Play-by-Play” to be a poem about older women lustfully longing after younger men and fulfilling their purpose. However, if one were to delve deeper into Murray’s poem, it could be argued that she is taking a satirical approach to the way men objectify women. Marilyn French once said, “The same men who are blind and deaf to feminism are acutely sensitive to what threatens their dominance and privilege.” In looking at the symbols, diction, and tone in Murray’s poem, one can plainly see her disdain towards the societal standard and objectification of women.
In our society today, there are many ways identity plays a role in how people live their lives, as well as how people are viewed or treated by others. A big part of a person’s identity comes from their gender. Men and women are raised differently, whether it be their beliefs and ways of thinking, how they view their future, or the actions they choose to take throughout their lifetime. In both Katha Pollitt and Silko’s essays, they discuss the differences in the lives of men and women and how these differences result from society’s expectations by using metaphors and life examples to explain their message to the reader, as well as allow the reader to connect to this message.
Crazy Love was a fascinating book to read. This book changed to the perspective on how to view life. It constantly made me question myself if I’m living life the way God wants me to. In one chapter, Frances Chan began to mention stories about God doing marvelous things for people in need, it gave a glimpse of how God treats the people who have a strong love and faith for Him.
The main idea of the book was to show the journey of how far women have come since the sixties and how far they still have to come. The subtopics are stories about women who have been mistreated, underestimated, and forgotten. The book starts out with women who are not known very well in the feminist movement, but had pivotal roles. The books move through the decades. In each decade we find women becoming less soft spoken and the realization that they deserve more. An underlying theme in the book is that women didn’t know that their happiness was worth the same as a man’s. They didn’t fight because they didn’t know that they were being blocked from another life. They were just expected to do certain things and they didn’t question it until
The narrator of this chapter is an eighth-grade girl who lives in Chicago with her immigrant family members. This family came over to the United States from Mexico. The story that she tells us about is one where she was selling produce on a pushcart on weekends. Doing this job to help out her family, she meets this customer known as Boy Baby, whom she falls in love with. Boy Baby tells this girl that he is a descendant from Mayan Kings. Not long after these two people meet, they decide to meet up at Boy Baby’s home. This is where he works and lives. While looking around, Boy Baby shows her his collection of weapons and soon after these two made love. When she went home afterwards, she realised that she left her vegetable push cart at Boy Baby’s house. In which she makes up a tale that her push cart had been stolen earlier that day. Her grandmother did not allow her to leave the house after what had happened. A few weeks went by and this young girl realised that she was pregnant, from that one night that she spent with Boy Baby. Grandmother was able to locate Boy Baby’s sister whom was a nun living in Mexico at the time, but she did not know