The Changing Roles of Women in Literature from Late 8th Century B.C. to 4th Century A.D.
The early Renaissance created an ideal environment for the response of these compositions and the ideas they expressed. As mentioned earlier, the early Renaissance in Italy lead to an insurgence in humanist philosophy. Following the Middle Ages, a period of intellectual stagnation, the Renaissance provided an outlet for intellectuals to freely think. Marinella and Cereta intentionally targeted their audience by using the letter format. Letters were popularized at the time of the Renaissance by dominant male writers and allowed for ideas to be easily dispersed to a receptive audience. The Nobility and Defense of Liberal Instruction for Women manipulate the stylistic strategies of letters as rhetorical device that plays off the works of men at the time; a feminist stand within itself, utilizing letters elevated the works of Marinella and Cereta to their male counterparts (Ross, 8-16). Because the authors used letters, their works were widely circulated and
Women and men are nestled into predetermined cultural molds when it comes to gender in American society. Women play the roles of mothers, housekeepers, and servants to their husbands and children, and men act as providers, protectors, and heads of the household. These gender roles stem from the many culture myths that exist pertaining to America, including those of the model family, education, liberty, and of gender. The majority of these myths are misconceptions, but linger because we, as Americans, do not analyze or question them. The misconception of gender suggests that biological truths no longer dictate our gender roles as men and women; they derive from cultural myths. We, as a nation, need
America is claimed to be the greatest country on earth. Many of people think of America as a place for opportunity and equality. Although America is all of those things today, it was not crafted lightly. There were many horrific event that took place to create this melting pot of a country. Discrimination and entitlement was what founded this country that is supposed to be so fair. The quality of life was not great for those of color or female. Throughout the beginning of America, race and gender roles were crucial factors of how you would live and be treated.
Throughout the history of the U.S., women have had two major social roles that were defined by gender. Women had two major roles, the first is being a moral compass for society. Women were seen to be virtuous and pure to the point that the idea of a woman stepping on the “wrong path” was horrible and made that particular woman worthless in the eyes of society and more importantly made her feel worthless to society. An example of this is seen with Helen Jewitt, Helen was tricked into sleeping with a man when she thought the love of her life was dead. After she slept with the man she felt terrible and was left stranded, she made her way to New York where she became a prostitute. In one of her letters to her parents, Helen writes of how ashamed she is and what a disgrace she is to her parents and that she can never go home because she would be the talk of the town. Helen is a prime example of how women that “failed” to live up to the rigid morals of society felt and how they were perceived by others. Women as keepers of morals can be seen in the American Female Moral Reform Society Warns Mothers About the “Solitary Vice,” 1839. Just the title of the document and the name of the activist group shows how much women were seen as the keepers
In the Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri writes of his travels from Hell into Heaven, and through his travels he uses roles of women to convey important characters on his travels. During the time when Dante was writing this piece of literature women did not play an important role in society, so for Dante to weave in women was uncharacteristic for the time. The three main women characters to whom Dante refers to the most are Beatrice who is Dante’s lover, Virgin Mary who sent Beatrice to guide Dante and Virgil on their travels, and lastly, Saint Lucy or Lucia. Since Dante was a Christian, these three women play a role of portraying the trinity in reference to God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
Just like the economic insecurity of the era, many people were insecure about the fact that there was a woman seated on the throne and actually ruling the country. In such a patriarchal age, many said that a woman was not fit to run a country. “...while men were naturally endowed with authority, women were temperamentally, intellectually, and morally unfit to govern,” (The woman ruler in a patriarchal world), and thus was the ideal of the time. Women were meant to be quiet and subservient and never to govern, rule, or voice an opinion. If a woman did so begin to wish to dominate, “it was viewed as dangerous or grotesque,” (The woman ruler in a patriarchal world). Yet Elizabeth still thrived and refused to play into the chauvinist views of the
Throughout this paper I will be discussing the role of women in the American society. I will reference the importance of gender and gender inequality. The definition of gender aims to clarify for of all the historical framework of the topic, the role of women in the American society. The paper will lead from the role women were given around World War II and then transition into the role women can now choose in the American society today. Addition to the role of women I will also discuss the differences of how the genders are treated in the same places, for example work place. Men and women are culturally molded when referring to gender in the American society. The gender roles play a lead part into how the model family, education, and liberty are. The reason I chose to write about this topic is due to my strong belief that although I don’t agree with the characteristics society gave to gender, I do believe in gender equality.
In her essay, “Housewives and Homework: The Lacemakers of Narsapur,” Chandra Talpade Mohanty focused on how men sold products that women produced and profited from women’s work. The essay basically pointed out how work can be defined according to sexual identity. It made me wonder if American women are still perceived by men in society as being housewives even though some of us are doctors, lawyers, teachers etc. Is the work that women do seen as what Mohanty pointed out in her essay as “leisure time activities”? I think that to some extent men believe that women’s sole purpose on Earth is to be their wives/partners and to be good mothers to their children. Even though we “leisurely,” as Mohanty so
The gems of the classical culture had been buried for long during the Dark Ages until it saw light in the Renaissance period. The rediscovery of ancient knowledge made cities such as Venice flourish with new appreciation of the antiquity as well as new humanistic ideas that nourished both men and women. Although most women could not gain admittance to university education, examples of women writers, patroness of arts, and women who participated and organized court activities for the male intellectuals (such as Isabella d’Este) prove to us that women of relatively high social status did have access to considerable amount of knowledge at their time. Venice, being a printing center and a huge distributor of classical and vernacular texts in the
With this education, she used her gift for poetry to entrance and impress her male court companions which granted her respect that normal women were unable to gain. Conversation and intellect became as important in entertaining her male companions as her sexual conduct. The upper class men of Venice found it amusing to see a woman with the many talents that Veronica had like poetry and the ability to sword fight. Her status as courtesan allowed her to enter literary and political circles unavailable to even the most connected and powerful ladies. By making connections with the elites in Venice, Veronica was able to attend exclusive events which afforded her the opportunity to express her poetry through public speech and by battling poetic contemporaries. This is important because she could further her own influence while showcasing her ability to compete with men in literary and political circles. These skills afforded Veronica the opportunity to entertain the infamously homosexual, King Henri III of France in his private quarters. This is important because the influence and reputation that Veronica Franco earned from the elites of Venice granted her protection when she needed it. Her elevated status allowed her to publish two different collections of poems, a rare feat in a society where few women could read or
When examining history, it is important to view the perspective of more than one historian. Compared to the historians Jacob Burckhardt and Norman Davies, who are both male, Joan Kelly-Gadol offers an entirely different view to the Renaissance by presenting it with a woman's point of view. In his work, Davies discusses the new liberation and progress made by men during the Renaissance. However, Kelly-Gadol shows how women actually lost power and freedom in comparison to the Middle Ages. Burckhardt gives examples of economical and political changes during the Renaissance, specifically focusing on Florence. In contrast Kelly-Gadol has more on a focus on the social changes regarding love and sex for noblewomen. Despite these differences, all
Women writers are easily stereotyped; numerous individuals think that ladies should not be taken seriously by the public. Women during the time where not regarded as intelligent, strong writers. Even though there are few amazing women novelists, the majority pretends to know much more than they actually do. During this time period, women are regarded as only writing about fluffy love stories, topics they do not know enough about, and religion. When any person pretends they are more intellectual than they really are, people reflect upon them poorly. Women were not allowed to be educated similarly to the men, so it is not a surprise that women are not scholarly writers as to their counterparts. Many men have extremely famous books published,
this point in time, as they were believed to be inferior to men. The works of female authors were not as
Basically, the woman’s images in literature has a part which is cannot be separated with literary work and the reality at the time. In Western Europe, 18th century, there was a complex era for intellectual movement, artistic and especially literature. The increasing of industrial revolution influenced the art, music, literature in the line.