In The Paradise Of Bachelors And The Tartarus Of Maids,

1662 WordsMay 26, 20177 Pages
In The Paradise of Bachelors and The Tartarus of Maids, Melville subtly criticizes women in the working or public space, while positively depicting men in a domestic space. Melville’s contrast of the paradise of bachelors and the Tartarus of maids, clearly demonstrates how men were perfectly allowed and able to exist in both spaces without degrading their reputation, questioning their manhood and without consequence made both spaces their own. This is not true for women who step outside the domestic space. Women who crossed the threshold were accused of losing their femininity, refusing to do their duty as a woman and corrupting society. This is a reflection of the social and political norms of the 18th and 19th century in which women…show more content…
They opposed it because through education, women were more exposed to the public space, which faintly blurred the dividing lines of the two spheres. The political and social changes that influenced the movement of women’s education did not challenge the threshold between the domestic and public spheres as much as women working in the public space. During this period capitalism was taking force and many women were forced to work because they were poor and had no support, yet others saw it as an opportunity to escape the domestic space. Barr states, “…women [were] left adrift in the world without helpers and protectors” (208). This women had no choice because they needed to survive and had no one to ‘protect’ them from the outside world. The latter women were mostly upper and middle-class women who saw working as a chance to enter the public space in order to satisfy political or personal desires. In the article “Discontented Women”, Barr who is against working women, criticizes the married and single upper and middle-class women who without necessity expose themselves to the public sphere. She explains that “the one unanswerable excuse for woman’s entrance into active public life of any kind, is need…” (208). In other words, although a lot of women were working because they needed it, most single and married middle-class women and rich women were working for pleasure, which was not acceptable. Middle and higher class

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