The Wasp Factory Essay

501 Words 3 Pages
The Wasp Factory

The Wasp Factory is a novel that focuses heavily on the power of gender. It is a novel that associates masculine power and feminine weakness to animality. Within the novel, males are characterized as skilled, cunning, smart, and powerful; they are associated with dogs. On the other hand, women are viewed as stupid, docile, and frightened; they are associated as sheep. Each of these characterizations is made clear by viewing what Francis Cauldhame is (sheep), and what she desires to be (dog). Women are one of two of Frances Cauldhame's greatest enemies. According to Frances, women are weak and stupid. Because they are weak and stupid (pg.43), they will always be inferior. In Frances's mind, women posses no
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So therefore, women can easily be viewed as sheep. Frances hates sheep. Since sheep are women, then this partially explains Frances's hatred toward women. This hatred is the cause of great conflict. Frances is a woman. Therefore since Frances is a woman, then because of the similar characteristics then she is a sheep as well. She becomes associated with weakness, therefore becoming associated with sheep. Being both a woman and a sheep, Frances is what she hates. So therefore, Frances not only hates women and sheep, but she hates herself as well. In regards to Frances being a sheep, it is clear to state that the island in which Frances is confined is a pasture. It is a place that she can gaze, wonder, and explore, but still remain in confinement. The idea of a pasture is such that it is a place in which something can grow and develop until its desired goal is reached. For sheep, they graze and eat so as to develop suitable wool. For Francis, her home, her pasture, is a place of struggle. It is a place that confines her true desire. A desire focused on the power of becoming a man. According to Frances, to be a man is the most honorable and greatest power one can posses. Men are smart, cunning, brave, and most of all, powerful. These characteristics are also associated with those of dogs. In order to become a man, Frances must become as dog-like as possible. Francis's mission in becoming a dog is directly related to territory. All dogs