When the “Founding Fathers” of America laid the foundation of the United States, they strove to create a society in which “all men are created equal” (Jefferson, n.p.). Despite this noble ideology, however, the subordinate status of women at the time as well as a booming slave trade prevented our nation from truly achieving this utopian vision. Now, over 200 years later, modern-day America still struggles in achieving true equality for all citizens. While women in the United States have inched closer to equality than ever before and appear to possess the same rights as men, underlying issues persist. Lingering concepts of traditional gender roles, a disturbing sexual double standard effectively encouraging “rape culture,” and the fact that women still receive less than men for the same vocation combine to prevent true equality of the sexes even today. Various literary, musical, and visual forms of art reinforce and perpetuate notions of female inferiority in the minds of many individuals using a plethora of techniques. John Milton’s Paradise Lost (1667, 1674) and Temptation of Adam and Eve (1425) by Masolino, for example, appear to accomplish this by tying sexism to the Fall of humanity in the Garden of Eden. On one hand, both Milton’s epic poem and Masolino’s Fresco point to the idea that Eve, and therefore woman, should be blamed for original sin. However, the Biblical account of original sin in Genesis and Milton’s emphasis on free will in multiple writings imply
Throughout my selected text, Johnson focuses on the church along with the subsequent androcentric image of God, and how it impacts woman around the world. She explains that throughout history, with the help of the church’s patriarchal nature and society’s values as a whole, woman have been seen “as a ‘defective male’…that must live in obedience to her [male counterpart,]…[ and who are often also referred to as the] ‘second sex’” (Johnson 92). This
Towards the end of ‘On the Equality of the Sexes’, Murray specifically invokes the story of Adam and Eve, a story used for centuries to depict women as the sinners, to turn the argument against itself and argue that Adam, or the men, are the real sinners in the Bible, as Adam knowingly breaks the rules while Eve was innocently deceived by the serpent. “Adam could not plead the same deception,” says Murray, “nor ought we to admire his superiour strength, or wonder at his sagacity”, implying that people overestimate the skills of men while dismissing the intellect of women as commonplace. The bigger takeaway from Murray’s invocation of Adam and Eve is that it shows the audience that she is trying to make her argument more relatable by putting gender equality in the framework of the Bible, a piece of work that was not only a religious text, but a way of life for most people in Murray’s time. By analyzing the Bible through a feminist lens and swapping the roles of Adam and Eve, Murray saved women’s reputation as the repenting sinners, but in mentioning the Bible to justify her point, Murray ultimately retreats back to the practice of relying on others’ words to make her ideas worthy of public consumption.
Milton’s Paradise Lost has been praised as being the greatest English epic of all time, most stunningly in its author's depiction of the parents of humanity, Adam and Eve. How Milton chose to portray the original mother and father has been a focus of much criticism with contemporary readers. One of the main subjects of these comments is in reference to Eve, who, according to many, is a trivial character that is most definitely inferior to her mate. Nonetheless, many do not recognize that, after the fateful Fall, she becomes a much more evolved character. When Eve is introduced to the storyline of the epic, her character is shallow and extremely undeveloped, meant simply for display. She is quite firmly set as being inferior to her mate
In her essay On the Equality of Sexes, Murray challenges the patriarchal society of late eighteenth century America by arguing that women are not inherently unequal to men, and could do just as well as their male counter parts, had they not been barred from any opportunity outside the home. She supports her arguments using variety of methods using morality, realistic scenarios and with religious doctrine, using the bible to advance her argument. Using these she is able to effectively challenge the status quo, and create a powerful argument for feminism. She opens her essay by questioning man’s interpretation of nature and of the female, first asking why one sex would be granted complete mental superiority over the other.
“The world is still sexist.” — Barbara Broccoli. From the creation story to modern day, women and men still struggle with a power dynamic of inferiority and superiority. The problem of sexism has been ever-present throughout history, and although it has been acknowledged by many, it has not been eradicated or resolved. Although the acknowledgment of sexism has grown over the course of the modern era, it is heavily rooted in society’s developmental process, which makes it continuously difficult to annihilate. Furthermore, throughout many historical texts, women are often represented as objects instead of real people. Within texts, such as the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Bible, the Quran, and the Torah, women are constantly regarded as inferiors instead of equals with men. Throughout these texts, there is a clear separation between the treatment of men and women, with women always being referred to as property.
Early Christian theologian and philosopher Augustine of Hippo once declared that “we ought to wish ours (teachings) to conform to that of sacred scripture.” In this essay, we will be analyzing theological perspectives of Saint Augustine and will discuss his ideas about the role of women in the Fall of Man, his views on intentionality and the nature of evil, and the ways in which his teachings influenced C.S. Lewis and his literally works in The Chronicles of Narnia. To begin, Saint Augustine had a utilitarian view of women, and his writings would influence the early Catholic and Protestant churches for centuries to come. In addressing the Fall of Man, Augustine believes that Adam and Eve had different motives for eating the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden and is forced to explain these different roles because of 1st Timothy 2:14, which states, “Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” Augustine theorized that Eve ate the fruit because she saw it as pleasing to the eye, and when she was approached by the snake had neither the wisdom nor the prowess to avoid falling into temptation. She was, after all, only a companion to Adam and in the end, Adam chose her companionship over the will of the Lord. There is also an early Christian theology that supports the idea that beautiful women are temptresses, and modest beauty is much more pleasing to God. We see this idea in many of C.S. Lewis’ works, but we will draw on an example from The
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. - Matthew 6:9. The idea of “God the father” is one that is rooted deep in our society predominantly the ways in which it rejoices men. The almighty all and powerful God is outlined as a male figure in the bible, constructed using almost entirely masculine language. This simple fact has provoked men to assume the position of authority, to oversee over his family. This simple fact leads to an imbalance of power between men and women subconsciously oppressing women within our society. In Mary Daly’s “After the Death of God the Father,” Mary explains how the Judeo-Christian culture has served to bring structure to a sexually imbalanced man driven culture." This male-controlled society has its establishments in the most discernible parts of Christianity.” Mary’s work is a continuation of what is known as “The women's liberation movement” furthering the conversation of societies hold on a woman and bringing change. In this critical evaluation of Mary Daly's work, I will discuss the thesis and argument of the reading, along with an analysis of its assumptions and implications.
With few exceptions, our male dominated society has traditionally feared, repressed, and stymied the growth of women. As exemplified in history, man has always enjoyed a superior position. According to Genesis in the Old Testament, the fact that man was created first has led to the perception that man should rule. However, since woman was created from man’s rib, there is a strong argument that woman was meant to work along side with man as an equal partner. As James Weldon Johnson’s poem, “Behold de Rib,” clearly illustrates, if God had intended for woman to be dominated, then she would have been created from a bone in the foot, but “he
Why do we blame Helen’s beauty for the Trojan War or Eve’s curious nature for Adam’s choice to eat the apple, thus beginning the mortal human civilization? Throughout history men have found it convenient to hold women responsible for their own weaknesses and intolerance. The apathy of anti-feminist and conservative movements showcases the reality of the Stockholm syndrome and medieval serfdom. Men have been the captors and the masters of the women for time in antiquity, but we still see empathy in women. Henry Kissinger could not have summarized it any better when he said, “Nobody will ever win the Battle of the Sexes. There is too much fraternizing with the enemy.” Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried is neither
Milton was, by no means, a feminist, and was of quite a conventional outlook when it came to gender roles as is apparent in the fourth book of Paradise Lost, which has inevitably been scrutinized over and over again under the modern gendered eye. “Paradise Lost,” says Shannon Miller, “is Milton’s most sustained attempt to represent in poetry, gander roles, relations and hierarchy.”It is evident, she points out, in the course of his introduction of Adam and Eve in book IV, the stories of creation they relate there and in book VIII, and finally in the way Milton presents the consequences of the Fall. The reader observes the process by which gender is created as a cultural category.
Select a novel, play, or epic in which a character experiences such a rift and becomes cut off from “home,” whether that home is the character’s birthplace, family, homeland, or other special place. Then write an essay in which you analyze how the character’s experience with exile is both alienating and enriching, and how this experience illuminates the meaning of the work as a whole. You may choose a work from the list below or one of comparable literary merit. Do not merely summarize the plot. (2010 AP Literature and Composition)
The portrayal of women in Milton’s Paradise Lost is very different from the other works. While women are often seen as being deceitful, devious, and smart, the depiction of Eve is different as she is seen as being dumber and more inferior to Adam in all areas besides beauty. This portrayal of Eve assisted in the progression of Paradise Lost as Eve ate the forbidden apple after being persuaded by Satan to eat the apple. While the incident caused Adam to also disobey God, it created a bond between Adam and Eve that was greater than before the incident when they were considered pure. The bond between Adam and Eve that is improved through the learning of new emotions, trying new things, and the
Man above woman, or woman above man? For the entirety of human civilization, this question of gender hierarchy has been divisive issue. Regardless, Milton does not hesitate to join the heat of the battle, and project his thoughts to the world. Since the publication of Paradise Lost, many of Milton’s readers have detected in his illustration of the prelapsarian couple, particularly of Adam, a powerful patriarchal sentiment: “he for God only, and she for God in him” (Milton, IV.299). In essence, this idea declares that Adam and Eve possess unequal roles – Adam is better than Eve, as men are better than women, in accordance to the deeply conventional reading of the relations between the sexes. Eve’s purpose for Adam makes her less
Upon losing the election to become the 45th president of the United States, Hillary Clinton gave a concession speech and told “all the little girls who are watching this...never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and to achieve your own dreams” (Clinton). While Candidate Hillary Clinton said these girls are “deserving of every chance,” our society may prove otherwise. Although women today are no longer denied basic rights such as voting, our patriarchal society still sets up barriers, which limit a woman’s ability to be considered equal to a man. Here, “equal” would be defined as being perceived in the same light for equal opportunities and outcomes. Similarly, Christian women today are not limited in the same ways they were in early Christianity; however, the Bible still presents women in subalternate roles, compared to men. In American society today, there are double standards in the way men and women are perceived that date back to “traditional” Biblical expectations of women being subservient to men.
In his epic poem titled Paradise Lost, John Milton describes his work as a process to justify “the ways of God to men”. In terms of the personal and individual, Milton’s main concern was between a man’s relationship and God. With this, comes the very idea of free will itself. One can define free will as the ability and freedom to choose between different possible courses of action. Not only is free will portrayed in Adam and Eve, but is also associated with God, Christ, Satan and the fallen angels. Milton enables these characters to make their own choices and have their own consequences based on their own decisions and free will. Throughout the poem, John Milton supports this concept of acting freely under God, he shows the reader that choosing ones own actions freely and independently is way more substantial and becomes more meaningful to ones self. Each characters free will in this poem helps explain why having this freedom of choice is so important and crucial in expressing and becoming ones self.