Some might even say Shelley ardently agreed with the position in which they found themselves and the securely fixed roles during the Victorian era. Caroline Frankenstein, for example, from the beginning is the embodiment of the idealised female. She is initially presented as the perfect daughter, nursing her father lovingly till his death, and progresses on to the perfect wife, though one might argue that she never ‘progresses’ at all . She remains pale, lacking the life and vigour the men in the book so often posses, and as a result the reader pushes her to the side as a minor character. But although at first Frankenstein may give the reader the impression that women have very little impact in the novel, Shelley slyly uses them to deconstruct the power and control that men had been enjoying for years .
The problem with the confined versus unconfined woman in the medieval period as expressed in some literature of the time is that the unconfined woman is seen as dangerous. She is subverting an older order of gendered behavior and is proving that she can take on the same responsibilities and think on par with her male counterparts. Women who adhere to the narrow roles of wives, mothers, and peaceweavers generally appear as confined. Although this word may conjure connotations of something being done against one’s will, the confined woman of medieval literature appears perfectly happy and gracious to live in such a role. She is not dangerous and poses no threat to the male power structure.
They speak about how authors such as Edgar Allan Poe, Agatha Christie, and Marcia Muller were able to develop female detection and how it’s evolved from the late 1800s up to modern day. Rosenblum also speaks of different topics such as marriage vs. careers, solitary sleuths, and hard-boiled women detectives. He says that it is common to see women having to
Both women are contrasting representations of Hedda. From the opening of the play her [Hedda’s] relationship with Aunt Julie is a strained one. Hedda views Aunt Julie as a symbol of what she herself loathes and could at the same time could quite easily become. Aunt Julie epitomises the idea of the domestic, dutiful woman with no true purpose of her own. She instead finds her purpose through the lives of the male characters and the arguably mediocre success that Tessman has had.
In Sophocles’ and Anouilh’s versions of Antigone, the playwrights have very strict guidelines when portraying their female characters. This portrayal is supported through the reversal of gender roles, as well as stereotypical appearances of women. Through the breaking of gender stereotypes and the failure to abide by gender law, the characters in both versions of Antigone succumb to the temptation of suicide. By examining the characters in each play, it is clear that those who follow gender laws and have pleasing appearances are given choice over their fate, and those that do not must die, their death allowing them to achieve the concept of true beauty. Those that break assigned gender laws will have no choice but to submit to an inevitable death.
In The Power of the Positive Woman, Schlafly explains that there is indeed a difference, besides the obvious physicality, between men and woman that cause them to play different roles in society. She in no ways demoralizes the role of either men or women, but instead explains how each gender has an equally important role to play in society. She explains the ideals of liberationists by saying, “The second dogma of the women’s liberationists is that, of all the injustices perpetrated upon women through the centuries, the most oppressive is the cruel fact that women have babies and men do not” (Schlafly 296). This puts the blame of female anatomy on the males instead of on the Divine Creator of human lives. Although this seems to be a ridiculous reason to hate the male population, it is Schlafly’s way of making their movement seem ridiculous.
In contradiction to the good roles, there is the role of evildoer, Grendel’s mother. Many of these roles are set and put forth by women in the Old English times so that this tradition stays in continuance. Throughout the epic of Beowulf, Queen Wealhtheow, wife of Hrothgar, has most definitely filled all the roles of these women. Wealhtheow being queen is by far one of her greatest roles “adorned in her gold”(l. 614). Her appearance and the way the author boasts about her make her noticeably royal material “decked out in rings”(l. 621).
“It’s a Woman’s World” “It's a Woman’s World” by Eavan Boland is a poem that encourages women to look beyond the “sexist” rules of society, take charge and strive. As shown by Boland, women in our society are seen through a stable “lower than men” view. Boland's poem shows that woman are trapped, looked down upon, are seen as inferior to men. For many generations women have only been seen as housewives and even after time as passed, that is all they are seen as now. But one women in particular seems to stand out from all the others, the one who is trying to change and break away from all the pain and sexist rules.
Stereotypical Femme Fatale as Depicted in Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s Lady Audley’s Secret The issue regarding how woman is portrayed in literary works such as novel, poetry, or drama has been becoming one of the most interesting topics to be discussed until today. Each work represents its period and how society in that period in seeing woman. Victorian literature has its own way in representing woman. Some of the stereotypical gender roles we can easily found in many Victorian literatures are the portrayal of women as the angel in the house and the fallen angel. The angel in the house is the perfect helpmate as it was presented in Charles Dickens' Agnes Wickfield (David Copperfield) or Esther Summerson (Bleak House).
Life Without Love or Independence? In Jane Eyre and Hard Times, women are portrayed in a negative light throughout their respected novels; females are represented as being second class citizens to their male counterparts, and are unable to have a thought of their own. The traditional views of Victorian era gender roles are both enforced through the outside portrayal of the women that do not fit the mold of the ideal Victorian women yet is also subverted by the feelings the women feel when they left their bonds, or the consequences of living in the suffering of the gender misogamy they endure over their lifestyle. By expressing the men through traditional Victorian masculine characteristics such as being powerful and dominant to their meek and loyal female counterparts, the novels establish early on the barrier that the protagonists struggle with merely being female. In the novels, women are treated like second class citizens when compared to men and are expected to be content with this Victorian idea of patriarchal domination.