`` Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit And Jean Rhys 's Wide Sargasso Sea Essay

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Masculinity is an odd concept, because in many ways it is representative of strength and power. However, it is also represented through pop culture, literature, media, etc. as being rather fragile. In feminist literature, we see this fragility come through at incredible rates. While simply looking at a couple of novels, it is possible to evaluate how the power dynamic of masculinity puts up its walls when facing the smallest threats to its power. Through analysis of Jeanette Winterson’s Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit and Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea, it is possible to see how the figureheads of masculinity panic as soon as they are posed with the smallest threat. The protagonists of both stories are categorized as “mad” or “abnormal” throughout the course of each respective plot. They are placed there under the pretenses that this classification is what is best for them because it allows them to get the help they need and deserve in order to get better. However, these declarations of madness are really born from the infringement of both characters upon the pre-established patterns of masculinity and the panic that ensues from the male voice as a result of this deviance from traditional norms. In Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, the church in Jeanette’s town is clearly overseen and ruled by the men of the town. While there is female leadership within the church, it is easily undermined at the slightest hint of a threat to masculine leadership. When the church becomes aware

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