However, not everyone agrees with the heavy stereotypes laid down by the social order such as male dominance and proper courting. Marie de France is one of these people. She depicts her views of gender expectations through literature. Within the poem Guigemar, Guigemar and his lady fulfill and contradict what would be considered as gender norms within society: female inferiority, traditional courtship, and male dominance. Marie de France does this to criticize and combat the societal expectations and inherent inequalities in Norman England.
Male Dominance in Dracula Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula persists in trying to maintain the male figures control over women. The setting of the novel is around the time when western society was beginning to modernize and also a period in which many were questioning the church and religious beliefs. In Victorian England, the actions of women were dictated by society. Women were either virgins who maintained their innocence and purity or representatives of motherhood. Anything outside of those 2 realms was considered to be sinful and not good representations of Victorian women.
It also acts as a conservative force and believes it causes retention of traditional values. This can be recognised in the bible through the 12 disciples of whom were all male. Another is that teachings are generally conducted through male priests. Woodhead 2002 acknowledges this exclusion of women from priesthood as a sign of churches deep unease of emancipation of women generally. However it can be argued that times are changing and more and more women are becoming priests.
Critically assess the view that religion is always a conservative force in society Religion is generally described as either a conservative or dynamic force in society. If religion is a conservative force, that means it leaves society unchanged and functions to maintain the status quo. This can be seen as a good thing by many theorists but undesirable by others. Differently, if religion is described as being dynamic that means it is an active force that changes society. Functionalists, Marxists, Social Action Theorists and Feminists see religion as a conservative force, whereas Neo – Marxists and Weberians see it as dynamic.
Although not shown explicitly in Act 1 of the play, Ibsen seems to be somewhat critical of the institution of marriage in the 19th century by showing how Torvald, the husband, patronizes Nora, the wife. To Torvald, it may be an expression of love, but he is treating Nora as a child to be coddled. Also, Krogstad persuades Nora to help him in order to keep his job, which shows how easily women were subject to manipulation by the male. Therefore, Ibsen characterizes the institution of marriage in the 19th century as extremely traditional and very oppressive to women. Act I indeed shows Nora as a doll-like character: she is coddled, pampered, and patronized.
Browning contrasts the Duke’s representation of the duchess with the factual representation emphasising the Duke’s manic state and causing the audience to strongly oppose the duke as a person. Men feel the need to retain their pride in relationships which reflects the social attitudes and patriarchal values of the Victorian Era. The Victorian Era was a time of a changing social attitudes and people felt insecure and questioned their dominance with an increased male ego. This is evident in Browning’s portrayal of the Duke in “My Last Duchess”. Browning contrasts the happiness of the duchess with by providing imagery of nature, “Bough of cherries” and “orchard” with the dark, manic mind of the duke.
In the novel we are presented with very different examples of female sexual expression and are brought with the idea of the “new woman”. Not only does the expression of female sexuality in the novel defy societies norms, it poses a threat to male dominance and temptation, and brings about the idea of the loss of female innocence. While reading the novel Dracula the issue and controversy over female sexual expression was the most prominent and common theme in my opinion. Not only were we introduced to Lucy and Mina, but the three vampire sisters in the beginning of the novel. In the beginning of the novel Lucy and Mina are seen as the epitome of a Victorian women, they represented innocence, purity and devotion to men.
Challenging Gender Audacious, bold, offensive, daring, fearless, irrational, asinine—so many adjectives one may use to describe the proposals of The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck, and The Color Purple, by Alice Walker. In these great works, typical gender roles restrain characters from achieving peace within their lives, and characters are only able to progress and achieve happiness when they act as the opposite gender; in doing so, the characters illustrate the authors’ desires for a reversal of gender roles within society. The Grapes of Wrath tells the story of America as a whole during the Great Depression by following the journey of the Joad family from Oklahoma to California. Chasing the American Dream,
In the Victorian age, women were perceived as physically and emotionally inferior to the male-dominated society and this was illustrated by the rest cure. Famed nerve specialist Dr. S. Weir Mitchell developed the rest cure to treat neurasthenia, or “nervous exhaustion” in both men and women. However, the causes and treatment of neurasthenia depended on gender. Author
In their day and age these characters would be judged by many factors including social and cultural backgrounds, crimes committed and personal traits. Both of these writers seem to conjure their audience into a state where it compels them to relate to certain characters. Lady Macbeth certainly loses or suppresses her feelings of cowardice. Throughout her appalling invocation to the spirits of evil to “unsex her”, proving her ambition to attain her goal. In Jacobean times women were seen as inferior and even in the Victoria era, thus she required external forces to crush her conscience to allow her to fulfil her ambition.