Coffeehouses were crucial arenas for the reformation of manners, and the expression of public opinion. Periodicals like The Spectator, Tatler, and The London Spy use public spaces like the coffeehouse to present desirable characteristics that defined feminine and masculine ideals. One particular formulation of femininity meant that women were encouraged to reside in their domestic sphere, and discouraged from occupying the public realm as they interfered with the coffee men’s manners and behaviours which periodicals were working hard to reform. Men were also discouraged from entertaining trades women, particularly because periodicals constantly played on the stereotype that women of trade were women of sin, thus deterring any kind of …show more content…
Demonstrated in No.73 of The Spectator, ideal representations of female roles are closely tied in with the ‘care of their families, and love for their husbands, which [were] great qualities and achievements of womankind’ . The good female characters were those who willingly confined themselves to the concerns of their families- characteristics that came to be idealised by the spectator, thus causing the private sphere of the home and family to assume a privileged position. However, excessively worldly women whose interests and unconventional occupations ranged beyond the private household present a kind of bad femininity, which periodicals do their very best to exploit and discourage in order to subject women to domestic realms and dissuade them from entering and working in spaces of trade like the coffeehouse. It became instrumental for periodicals like The Spectator to form a female reading audience organised around the literary representations of women as writing subjects, and textual figures situated within the reformist discourse designed to instruct and influence their behaviours. This can be evidenced in The Spectator No.155 where female readers are presented with a letter from the ‘idol’ , who shares her ‘unhappy circumstances’ due to working in the coffeehouse. Whilst men gawk, and offer the
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For the most part, society’s conception of women in the 19th century dictated the way women were treated and influenced the portrayal of female characters in writing generated during that time. The Cult of Domesticity claimed that true womanhood was marked by a natural inclination to domesticity and submissiveness. Though all women clearly have the capacity to think for themselves, earn money, and overcome the emotional obstacles they may meet, the plausibility of complete independence was a challenging appeal for Harper to make. Men dominated family
In 1854 Fanny Fern published what was to become not only her most successful works, but one of the most popular and enduring works of English literature during the Antebellum period: Ruth Hall; A Domestic Tale of the Present Time. Though the title – especially to a modern reader – does little to convey the level of thoughtful and heady critique that Fern expounds through this book, it is actually is a strong indictment of the feminine position as the subordinate housewife, mother, and societal agent. However, despite this criticism, it does not seem that Fanny Fern is critical of the institutions of marriage or motherhood as a whole. Her critique is based on the limiting effects of the conventional roles into which wives and mothers fall, and the deleterious consequences these roles have on the personal development and self-actualization of the women who enter into them. Therefore, it is not the institution of marriage or motherhood that Fern is critical of, but rather the expectations and limitations that society assigns to the women who assume these roles.
After reading “A Nocturnal Reverie” by Anne Finch readers are able to see the transformation of gender roles through time. “A Nocturnal Reverie” was written in the 18th century, which was the start to improve the way women would be viewed in society. This was the start to many advances for women from
Does deviating from one’s gender norms inevitably doom one down a spiral of moral corruption? Tim O'Brien, author of “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong” and Ernest Hemingway, author of “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber”, certainly seem to hold this view, as evident by the fates of the major female characters in their respective works. The deviance of the major female characters in both works appears to corrupt not only themselves, but also pollute their partners, causing them to suffer injury or harm as a result. The degree of injury ranges from negligible, like Fossie’s demotion and broken heart, to fatal, like the bullet that rips through Macomber’s skull. It begs the question, are these stories meant to serve as cautionary tales for their female readers, or possibly for their husbands, so they may recognize gender deviance and stop it in its tracks before their wives transform into Margot Macomber or Mary Anne Bell? This essay will analyze what such characters say about pervading views of women, both in society and in literature.
The life of a lady in the 19th century is painted in a romantic light. Pictured in her parlor, the lady sips tea from delicate china while writing letters with a white feathered quill. Her maid stands silently off in the background, waiting for orders to serve her mistress. What is not typically pictured, is the sadness or boredom echoed on the lady’s face. Perhaps the letter is to a dear friend, not seen in ages, pleading with the friend to visit, in hopes that the friend will fill the void in the lady’s life made from years spent in a loveless marriage; or possiblyk20 the lady isn’t writing a letter at all, but a novel or a poem, never to be read by anyone but her. Edith Warton and Charlotte Perkins Gilman, are 19th Century ladies who dare to share their writing with the world. Through their works, the darker side of a woman’s life in the late 1800’s is exposed. Gender politics in the 19th dictates that a lady is dependent on her husband for her financial security and social standing; that is if she is fortunate enough to marry at all. In Edith Warton’s The House of Mirth, Lily Bart is a beautiful woman in her late 20’s, who fails to marry a wealthy man. The narrator in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper slowly goes insane under her physician husbands misguided attempts to cure her of depression. The downfall of Lily Bart and the narrator of The Yellow Wallpaper is
When the notorious topic of women’s role in society comes to mind writers like Kate Chopin and Mary Wilkins Freeman break the norms of how women in America were imagined to be through different cultures and regions. In both Kate Chopin’s and Mary Wilkins Freeman’s time period women are portrayed as an ample servant to their husbands. Together the texts show how the controlled understanding of the nineteenth century society, had on women. At that time of these writers, people were restrictive about the viewpoint of women’s place in society. Women could not really do much without their Husband or another male figure in their life , they really didn’t have a voice of their own. In the stories A New England Nun , Desiree’s Baby, The Story of an Hour, and The Storm, Mary and Kate have represented how this situation of the society affected women and their viewpoints about life and marriage.
During the twentieth-century stereotypical gender roles were prominent when it came to societal views. The roles of the female were simply to be a wife to her husband and mother to the children. In addition, it was also a familiar practice for women to be confined to the private space of their home. As for the role of men they were seen as the primary supporter of the family for since they were the only one allowed to have an actual occupation in the public realm of politics and business (Merret 3). They brought home the wealth earned and thus were in charge of keeping a roof over their families head. Susan Glaspell the author of a novel titled “A Jury of Her Peers” illustrates the social standards of women’s subjugation while a case involving a murder mystery is in the process of being investigated and solved. Glaspell takes the reader on a journey of not to only tell the story of a murder will out, but to also ensure that women 's subjectivity is not only to the rules of societal standards but also by those of their husbands.
Ultimately, the evidence shown above reveals the many apprehensions and difficulties women endured during the 19th century, and the implications of their actions. Through the above examples, it demonstrates that women must show certain etiquette among European society despite personal heritage. As well as one being innocent and denying social norms, there are limitations and one should be cautious to personal decisions. Similarly, young women should be more vigilant towards warnings of others and adult figures that offer helpful advice even if their nature is to be ignorant to rules. Given these points, James emphasizes in the novella ‘Daisy Miller’ the taboo of young sexuality during the Victorian era, and the strict social conventions and
The nineteenth century is popularly known for its traditional view of gender roles, especially regarding women. The term “True Woman” refers to what society at that time thought to be the ideal woman, carrying qualities of “modesty, submissiveness, physical weakness, limited education, and complete devotion to husband and home” (White, 2009, p. 1). Women were restrained in terms of sexuality, dress, language, and economic decisions. In Amy Gilman Srebnick’s The Mysterious Death of Mary Rogers, Mary rebels against these standards by being a single women that is also sexually active, however, her actions are what seemingly lead to her demise. Similarly, Fanny Fern’s Ruth Hall also goes against gender norms. In her case, she earns her own economic independence through her writing and lives a more unconventional life as a mother, but faces repercussions from her family. Through the novels Ruth Hall and The Mysterious Death of Mary Rogers, the main female characters revolt against being “True Women” through their daily actions and behaviors, however they’re each punished with consequences for trying to deviate from society’s path.
Presenting literature to the public that is meant to be a commentary on social or political issues, masked under the guise of entertaining and fictional, is a tool implemented by authors and activists for centuries. While not all satire is as overt as Jonathan Swift’s suggestion that we eat the babies, it does not diminish the eyebrow raising suggestions that are conveyed once the meaning has been discovered. In Aphra Behn’s The History of the Nun and Eliza Haywood’s Fantomina, the established expectations of the female role within society are brought into question then directly rejected. These expectations establish that women should be deferential to men, morally unblemished, and virtuous at all times. Men, however, are not held to these expectations in the same way. The masculine roles assumed by Isabella and Fantomina demonstrate a private rebellion against the established patriarchal society as it warns against the under-estimation of women and proves that women exist independently.
American Literature has always been about men and for men. In this essay, we are going to analyze the women’s role in the book, as inferior and weaker gender.
By the early nineteenth century, newspapers were an integral part of daily life for both men and women. Both sexes would have read about Thornton’s story in the newspaper. While it is clear that women read newspapers, ‘the size of the female readership remains extremely unclear’. It was this female readership that the articulators of ‘separate spheres’ ideology were concerned with reaching. The basic premise of the ‘separate spheres’ was that the public sphere of political life and employment was naturally the space of men and the domestic sphere of the home was the realm of women. The conscious articulation of this idea in the media of the nineteenth century was the product of fears of societal instability, of which ‘the breakdown of familial and sexual order became a striking metaphor’. Domestic magazines and newspapers worked to create and proliferate a baseline of acceptable behaviour for women and offered definitions of what would be tolerated. The attempts in the print media to reflect the model behaviour for the sexes is apparent the representations and phrasing of Thornton’s appearances, as seen in Chapter
“a large number of women’s writings about the city are androgynous figures: independent and hard-pressed working-class women, artists’ models or writers, if not deviants and misfits, outside the conventional bonds that define femininity. These female protagonists are women without family, often
In the poem “The Lady’s Dressing Room,” written by Jonathan Swift, one may say he portrays himself to be a chauvinist by ridiculing women and their cryptic habits. However, others may say he wants to help women from the ideals placed upon them by society and prove to be an early feminist. This poem written in the 18th century represented women to be fake and sleazy at first. Then during the 20th century, the feminist movement used it as an attack against women, depicting the poem’s meaning as not valuing their rights and freedoms. The truth far hidden from these points of views became uncovered recently. This essay will explain both sides of the views and using critical thinking will uncover the real message the author intended to portray.
Growing up, “the girl” desired for attention from her father, therefore, she began to enjoy helping him work outside with the foxes. “My father did not talk to me unless it was about the job we were doing … Nevertheless I worked willingly under his eyes, and with a feeling of pride”(152). Therefore, she began to terrifying bored working in the kitchen with her mother, and began to lose respect for her mother’s inferior position in the household. When describing her mother’s housework it was “endless”(153) compared to her father’s work outside, which was “ritualistically important”(153). This obvious feeling of displeasure for society’s womanly duties symbolizes the protagonist desire to be more than “just a