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Summary Of Gender Inequality In Letters From A Peruvian Woman

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It takes a great amount of bravery to criticize one’s country. It takes an even greater amount to suggest that this criticism stems from gender inequality that one’s society so willingly accepts. Renowned French novelist Françoise de Graffigny took the initiative to point out the caustic gender inequality that was so pervasive throughout French society by use of her novel Letters From a Peruvian Woman. In this novel, Graffigny criticizes various aspects of gender inequality in French society through the lens of Zilia, a Peruvian woman and Other who found herself captured and forced into French society. Through Zilia’s encounters, Graffigny molds the opinion that the ills in French society are caused by the harsh treatment of its female citizens. Françoise de Graffigny uses Zilia from Letters from a Peruvian Woman to critique the inferior role of women in French society and the destruction it entailed in regards to the lack of education among women, the damaging restraints that marriage created for women, and the unjust, presumed behavior for women.
What gives Zilia authority to critique French society? Zilia is characterized as an Other in the French society, lending her credibility to critique the role of women in it. She is an Other because she clearly stands out from the rest of the French. Her race, nationality, and language subsist as some of the characteristics that distinguish her from those around her. Zilia, too, is treated differently from the other French, probing
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