Women’s Voice in Literature

2562 WordsMay 21, 201311 Pages
Women’s Voice in Literature In the late 1800s and early 1900s, women’s roles evolved from mere housewives to passionate activists who were fighting for rights to their share of the American dream. The main goal of the women participating in the fight was the right vote. In an effort to rally more to their cause, women used not only organized protests but employed literature to speak out. Written during this time period, “The Yellow Wallpaper” and “Trifles” are works that portray women as passive timid beings that should listen to their counterparts. These two pieces were composed to expose the outrageous manner in which women were regarded. On the other hand, “Canceled” is a contemporary piece which depicts the female character as a…show more content…
The lack of self expression causes a woman to become dominated by the male figure in her life as she cannot think for herself. In the story, “Canceled,” Adie loses her identity when her boyfriend, Samuel, tries to force her to go through with the pregnancy. Expressing her thoughts, Adie states, “It’s just that I don’t want this … I want to be me, just me” (Treglia). She felt that this foreign being in her is causing her to lose her sense of individuality. As a teenager, Adie has yet to explore her independence and develop an identity for herself. By having a child, she would never have the opportunity to create an identity. Through the forceful will of a man, history has shown that women have many obstacles in their efforts to establish an identity of their own. The contrast between the earlier written pieces and the modern piece is the social acceptance of the idea a woman can create her own identity. The protagonist in “The Yellow Wallpaper,” does not agree with her husband’s verdict of a work-free lifestyle. She rebels passively by writing in private when her husband is away. In the period associated with this piece, “a woman would probably have repressed her anger instead of showing it. If she had showed it, she might have been thought insane and institutionalized …
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