In the 1960s, as displayed in the novel, social roles are a prominent influence in how people act in society. Despite the supremacy of these roles, the Blackwood family disregards these standards, acting out of norm for what women would do during this time period. This disregard for social roles displays criticism from an outsider's perspective since Merricat and her sister, Constance, do not follow the set beliefs in society and in fact show that social roles are not a relevant aspect in life. This neglect for roles can be seen in how the two sisters act after having their house destroyed by the townspeople and their family friend comes to invite them to her home, “‘They cannot be left alone,
In the 1930’s there was a lot of racial tensions and expectations for southern culture. Things are different now than they were back then like the culture, but especially gender roles in the south.
Additionally, gender roles affect Mrs. Wright’s (also known as Minnie) reaction to oppressive marriage. Before marriage, Minnie was a carefree independent woman who was active in her community. She always dressed in pretty clothes and was one of the town girls singing in the choir (Glaspell 1111). After marriage, Minnie’s life became sad and lonely due to the lack of children and the lack of empathy and warmth from her husband. Glaspell provides the reader glimpse of Mr. Wright’s character through Mrs. Hale’s description of him being honest and upright, but he was a “hard man” and not very amiable (1114). The Wright’s marriage is a perfect example of the effects of traditional gender roles. Mr. Wright represents the traditional role of male dominance in marriage by controlling Minnie’s life through isolation and removing anything that would bring her happiness. Although Minnie became submissive in order to conform to the demands of her husband, she took back control when she murdered her husband in the same fashion as he did to her pet canary (1116).
Masculinity didn’t do a good job of attaining the hoped-for standards, as they didn’t have other equally profound consequences for American middle-class culture at this time. It justified the exclusion of women from the world as acceptable to both women and men at this time, and it cultivated strong bonds around women as well. They in fact shared the biological experiences central to their definition as women and spoke the same language of virtue and piety, which essentially means that they instilled a awareness of a set of common goals for them and experiences present for them, which had values specific to women, and distinct from those of men. The key to this was the extensive networks of female friends that were present during this time period for these women. Since women were supposedly better than men during this time, it was feasible and easy to believe that women were obliged and privileged to work together and help other women, who were fallen, and poor, who were having some sort of trouble during this time period as a result of the society that they were present in during this time period. Southern white women during this time were aware of the ideology of domesticity during this time, and they would try to implement it and its teachings for their lives, but their expectations were frequently articulated during this time period. There was little industrialization, domestication, urbanization, immigration, and therefore, social dislocation present during
In an article by Gizelis, the authors states “Civil wars destroy the previous social, economic, and political structures, and lead to tremendous changes in individual social identities and cultural practices.” Many of the standard patriarchal gender roles remained the same in the Reconstruction such as the woman took care of the house and children while the men were the breadwinners and in control. The difference is in this period, freed African-American men adopted the gender role of Caucasian men, and women began to fight for the chance of an education and the right to vote. The Reconstruction Era hosted the creation of several organizations as well as individuals to fight for the rights of women and minority men.
Ruth Hall: A Critique of the Feminine Position in Antebellum Society 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.
I think at the time the author may of tried to target an audience of young girls. Instead of writing a story the author cuts right to the case and explains and goes into detail about how a woman should act. The writer of this piece most likely wants you to take something from this and either learn from it or apply it to your life. An audience that lived in that time period may read this with a different mindset than someone of this era.
Hester is Woman: Hear Her Roar In the 1850’s, America was undergoing a massive internal changes via the industrial revolution. With this new era, American culture was drastically changed as women started to take a more prominent role in American society. In his novel The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne attempts to
The South between the 1830 and 1860 comprised at least four distinct social groups. They included (1) the businessmen, wealthy planters, and politicians; (2) the yeoman farmers who planned to raise cotton to become rich but never did; (3) the small slaveholders, and (4) the large slave population.
The largest of his foundational chapters deals with sexual honor. Wyatt‐Brown paints a picture of a singularly depraved and sordid society. The essence of his argument centers on the dichotomy between women’s weakness and power. It would have been better argued from a different point of view about power and points of leverage instead of a stale discussion of women’s matriarchal power over hen‐pecked husbands balanced against the dependency of women and their requirement to marry to avoid barrenness and shame. He is particularly challenged by the ideal of a southern woman who is to be “not only ethereal but also hardworking, politically aware (though never ‘to mingle in discussion’), and prudent in household management” (p.35). I think he could have done a much better job in describing the black‐white sexual relations as well, while highlighting the differences and the social preeminence of the white classes over the black. This book is ultimately a one-dimensional study of a very complex society. I think it is written without objectivity. He never tells the story from the side of the white slave holders. Though most, if not all of his writing is true, this book only sheds light on one side of the topic and therefore cannot be taken as absolute
For white Southerners, they faced many problems during the Reconstruction era. What was the Reconstruction era? The Reconstruction era was a period in time that took place right after the Civil War around 1865. And this was when President Abraham Lincoln began making his plans for the physical, economic, social, and political rehabilitation in the American South. Many republicans wanted to change Southern society and politics. These things were aimed to helping out the South. Many White Southerners did not agree that there even needed to be reconstruction, and they argued and fought the changes that were being imposed on them by the Northerners, Republicans, and anyone else in the federal government. So what was Reconstruction? Reconstruction was the rebuilding of Southern government, society, infrastructure,
Comparing Hope Leslie or Early Times in Massachusetts and The Scarlett Letter is interesting because at first glance both novels don’t appear to have much in common aside from having a female protagonist and taking place within Puritan society of early America. (keep but not as first sentence). However, despite obvious differences between both novels such as the character presentation of the female protagonists in Hope Leslie who range from the free-spirited Hope Leslie, obedient Puritan Esther, and character of Magawisca as a noble but proud Native American contrasts with the Hester Prynne’s presentation as a shamed but deeply contemplative woman in The Scarlett Letter. The different purposes all these characters each serve in their respective stories begins to show commonality in that Hope Leslie’s Hope, Esther, and Magawisca and The Scarlett Letter’s Hester Prynne all have to overcome the adversity and social expectations with Puritan society so they can follow their hearts and do what they feel is right by relying on their wit, intelligence, and inner strength. By examining how both Hope Leslie and Hester Prynne overcome the challenges they face in their respective Puritain socities it will be easier to observe how these novels presentation of their female protagonist illustrates the gender politics of each text.
The Social Groups of the Southern Colonies The Southern Colonies, complete with beautiful plantation houses, educated children, and indigo and tobacco fields for as far as the eye can see. It sounds like a truly great and inviting place to settle in the New World -- and for some, it was. However, it was not as glamorous for some as it was for others. It all depended on a person’s social class. There were three main social classes in the Southern Colonies. The highest class were those who owned plantations, the second was white people who worked the lands; however, were too poor to own their own slaves. Lastly, the lowest class was the slaves.
In her book Southern Horrors Women and the Politics of Rape and Lynching, Crystal Feimster aims to show the importance of southern women in the fight for women’s right during and after the civil war. This book tells the story of Ida B. Wells and Rebecca Latimer Felton as well as the hundreds of other southern women who campaigned against rape and lynching and championed for women’s rights. Feimster narrative focuses on both Wells and Felton because they were pioneers of their time in southern women’s empowerment after the war.
Women have been battling for their rights since before the colonization of America. Whether they be the right to vote or simply the right to sit down, the issues the female gender has dealt with have rarely afflicted white men. Sexism is caused by social pressure and insecurities, harbored by both men and women; it can originate within the mind of any group of people and creates unnecessary tensions between sexes. The sexism integral to The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, manifests itself in the whole community and contributes to the completion of Hester’s harsh fate.