While on the way to venerate Saint Thomas Becket’s remains, the entertainment of Chaucer’s Canterbury pilgrims falls upon the requiting of stories between the different estates. However, this requiting quickly turns malicious, the Host’s simple proposition evolving into an aggressive show of social dominance that includes the boasting of both literal and metaphorical rape. The normalization (or, borderline reverence) of aggressive manliness contributes to the creation of both rape culture and compulsory heterosexuality. Consequently, when a man does not dominate a woman—or, does not use his masculinity to humiliate another man—he is seen as weak or effeminate, subsequently placing his sexuality under scrutiny. Such is the motive behind John and Aleyn’s rape of the miller’s wife and daughter—to make Symkin seem weak, and to gain a reputation of superior masculinity. Thus,
King’s Mary Russell series aimed to update the Sherlock Holmes cannon to the modern feminist era. However, King’s The Beekeeper’s Apprentice undermines its own feminist views through Mary’s approval seeking behavior, society’s restriction of women’s access to professional roles, and Mary’s tendency to react emotionally.
The notion of separate spheres serves to set up the roles of men and women in Victorian society. Women fulfill the domestic sphere and are seen as submissive and emotionally sensitive individuals. Conversely, men are intelligent, stable, and fulfill all of the work outside of the home. In Bram Stoker’s novel, Dracula, the Count seems to actually embody the fear of the breakdown of such separate spheres. However, Stoker breaks down these separate spheres and the fear associated with their breakdown through the theme of the “New Woman” intertwined with the actions and behaviors of the characters in the novel.
Throughout history, our society has created gender norms that are followed consistently by members of communities. Though they differ from place to place, we recognize trends that seem almost prescribed to certain genders. Specifically, in the 1600s, men and women had explicit roles that were designated by people of stature. These expectations were followed loyally and people who failed to follow suit were shunned or sometimes even suffered seriously punishment including crude public beatings that were mot only pain inflicting but also status damaging (Rocke, Gender and Sexual Culture, 159). Looking deeper into the novel The Return of Martin Guerre, we identify from the start the expectations that are in place and how they play a role in the story. In comparison of Characters, taking into consideration the standard that had been set for men of this era, we notice that Pansette (Arnaud du Tilh) is an almost faultless example of what is expected for men and in contrast, Martin Guerre fails to meet these standards.
“Lanval” by Marie de France and “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” by Geoffrey Chaucer are both medieval romances that put a knight on trial by a queen’s court for his treatment of a lady. Throughout the course of this paper, readers will get the opportunity to travel back in time to the Middle Ages and that during the twelfth-century women were superior to men, specifically in their relationships and marriages; however, today men dominant individuals, especially in working world.
Within comptemporary society, there are many ways to define gender. Gender includes all the characteristics that differentiate masculinity and femininity. The existence of masculinity create problems for every men because they are constantly pressured to behave in a certain way in order to look masculine. In the story “The Maltese Falcon” by Dashiell Hammett, masculinity is negatively depicted as problematic toward men. In this story, the author displays the negativity of masculinity through the conduct, manliness and reputation of the main character.
In Voltaire’s Candide, the women are constantly being victims of rape, abuse, and violence. They suffer no matter how rich or how poor they were. From Cunegonde to Paquette, and The Old Woman, none of these characters possess such importance as the male characters do. Voltaire ridicules gender roles and the lack of power these women had in the Enlightenment period, which was supposed to be a time of “intellectual freedom and equality for men and women” (Johnson)
In his Literary Theory: The Basics, H. Bertens classifies stereotypes of women in literature into a number of categories; dangerous seductress, self-sacrificing angel, dissatisfied shrew, and defenseless lamb, completely incapable of self-sufficiency, or self-control, and dependent on male intervention. Bertens concludes that the primary objective of these women – or “constructions” – is to serve a “not-so-hidden purpose: the continued cultural and social domination of males”. One such novel that came under feminist scrutiny for these particular reasons was Bram Stoker’s Dracula, although this perlustration didn’t occur until 70 years after Stoker originally penned his masterpiece. However, during the mid-1960s, the rise of the feminist
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.
From a plethora of many authors and compilations over many centuries comes the fourteenth century The Thousand and One Nights, a Middle Eastern frame story during which there are as many as four implanted stories. In the outermost frame of this tale, a king who is betray by his wife vows to take a new wife each night and kill her the next morning in order to prevent further unfaithfulness. The main inner frame are stories from one of his wives which she continues each night to keep the king interested and thus postpone her death. Through these stories, the reader can examine the role of men and women in this time, specifically how women function in conjunction to men in the text. The reader may assume the men are superior while the woman are inferior, but through close reading of the text, the reader will discover that women in the text are only treated subordinately by men in the story but are revealed to the reader as the more powerful of the sexes. Authors reveal the power of women by their prowess at trickery or “women’s cunning” (The Thousand 1181), and their ability to force the actions of male counterparts. The reader can examine men’s attempt to stifle this power, which further acknowledges the women’s merit, through the excessively frequent occurring instances of men treating the women as insignificant, as well as instances when women are turned to ungulate animals, such
Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice was first published in 1813(Gary vii) a time when women had “few legal and economic rights or even receiving little respect, women can be seen as oppressed victims of a patriarchal society, subordinate first to their fathers and, then, to their husbands who had, of course, been selected by their fathers” (Swords, 76-82). At first glance one might think that Pride and Prejudice reinforces sexist stereotypes, however upon further examination of Jane Austen and her heroine Elizabeth it is clear that Pride and Prejudice in fact erodes the sexist stereotypes of women.
During the 1650s in Salem, Massachusetts, there were many beliefs about women perpetuated by society. They were considered to be impulsive, selfish and subservient. Women were pressured into conforming to these social standards. This is shown numerous times in Arthur Miller’s play, the Crucible. However, despite these social pressures, there were a number of instances where women we shown to have more power than men. The action of female characters were influenced by the beliefs, stereotypes and expectations promoted in their society.
The Roles of Women and the Differences in Lifestyles in A Scandal in Bohemia and The Speckled Band
Within My Last Duchess, The Bloody Chamber and Dracula, there is evidence to suggest that women within the gothic genre as portrayed as victims of male authority, as well as evidence to disprove this argument, instead suggesting that it is the women within the Gothic genre which makes themselves victims. ‘Angela Carter is particularly interested in the portrayal of women as victims of male aggression as a limiting factor in the feminist perspective of the time’[i] Carter, with her modern twist on traditional fairytales places a
I focused particularly on Pillars of Salt, because it contains very sophisticated juxtapositions of women’s reality and mythological accounts of women. It also demonstrates that issues of gender roles are much more complicated than a hierarchy of cruel, powerful men, bent on tradition who maintain the system and progressive