A Feminist Approach on James Joyces Ulysses

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The Feminist movement emerged around the late 19th century, with the beginnings of the first wave of feminism. Feminism, as a whole, has been divided into three “waves”, with each seen as dealing with different aspects of the same issues. The first wave refers to the feminism movement of the late 19th through early 20th centuries, which was an outgrowth of the anti-slavery and abolitionist movements, in which women fighting for the rights of Blacks in the United States realized that they themselves lacked basic rights. The second wave (1960s-1980s) dealt with the inequality of laws, as well as unofficial inequalities. In terms of literary theory, the first and second waves were concerned with the politics of women's authorship and the representation of women's condition within literature. The Third wave of Feminism (1990s-present) is a manifestation of more complex conceptions of gender and subjectivity, considering gender in the terms of Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis, as part of the deconstruction of existing relations of power. Simone de Beauvoir wrote: The relation of the two sexes is not quite like that of two electrical poles, for man represents both the positive and the neutral, as is indicated by the common use of man to designate human beings in general; whereas woman represents only the negative, defined by limiting criteria without reciprocity. These “limiting criteria” are only social-conditioned, as society has created, all along thousands of years, a history of men. The world seems to be men’s playground, while women stay in shadow, because of this burden of prejudices and not for other reasons, as there is no difference between men and women, but the social-conditioned (and sometimes conditioning) ones. Moreover, in literature, patriarchal authors believe that women do not exist as autonomous beings, but only related to the male characters.
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