She is described as courageous and ‘benevolent’ things which are associated with ‘The Angel in the house’ representation of women. It shows how this character conforms to the typical, devoting women of the period. She shows no signs of common weakness, with no selfish demands or self-pity. Although portrayed as courageous, Caroline Beaufort is still shown to be weaker than her husband who is the ‘protecting spirit to the young girl’. This shows that even though she is given some strength by Shelley, the male is still dominant in being the protector of the women who has to provide and ‘shelter’ her.
Though, when actually examined, the females portrayed in both literary works do show signs of bravery and rebellious spirit, which represents the actual mind of authors, they are still oppressed by the patriarchal society to a large extent. In Frankenstein, superficially, most female characters are portrayed as “heaven-sent” angels (Shelley, 34). The soul of them is like “a shrine-dedicated lamp” and they are “the living spirits of love to soften and attract” (38), which are fully consistent with the image of women in people’s minds in mainstream society in the 19th century (Sunstein, 4). Nonetheless, the weaknesses of them, which are used by the author to criticize the unfairness of the society, cannot be neglected. The two main female characters in Frankenstein: Caroline and Elizabeth are carefully analyzed in this essay, and from Frankenstein’s narration of them, we can see the author’s deep thinking and criticism about the unfairness of society.
Margaret Atwood’s speech “Spotty Handed Villainesses” explores Patriarchy, feminism and “bad” women in literature. She uses wit and humour to disarm the audience and often uses anti-climatic statements to grab the audience’s attention. Margaret Atwood’s speech resonates through time with her critical study of feminism in a social context and the impact that feminism has had on literature. In the speech Atwood explores the moral dichotomy that exists in Women at the time. She shows how women can only be categorised as either an angel or a whore.
Because of the way that she engaged with and challenged the changing reality of her period, her contribution to the literary world is valued most highly. The social expectations of women are addressed in both “Morning Song” and “The Applicant”. In the 60’s, there was a strong societal view that motherhood was the greatest thing that could happen to a woman, and that having children was God’s gift, one of the only jobs women have – in some cases, this notion remains today. “Morning Song”, however, presents a controversial perspective on bearing children – the persona in the poem is bitter about having a child, instead of overjoyed. There is a lack of feeling throughout the poem, and particularly in the first half, a huge
The knight’s tale, an alliterative romance and one of the better-known Arthurian stories, and the wife’s tale, the best-known of Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, give insight into the specific roles of women in the late Middle Ages. The two tales want the reader to determine and recognize that the women are mostly portrayed as manipulative seductresses. Many times a woman is blamed for a man’s fall from goodness to evil. Other times, the plots include women who meet the expectations of what some during the times believed women should be—more reflective to the bible, loyal to their husbands, pure, sweet, and helpless. In the tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Lady Bertilak, the main female character and the most important characters in this medieval poem, is prompted by her husband to discover if Sir Gawain is pure or not.
Further, the 1996 film The Portrait of a lady (Portrait) about a woman’s desperate choice between her autonomous, love-driven spirit and the demands of social convention encapsulates these paradigms and the struggle of women in expressing themselves. In the Victorian context, common in the literature of many was the veneer of morality that shadowed the voluptuous inner feelings of people at the time. Browning’s ‘Meeting’ is clearly indicative of the shattering of this patina and the notion of strong desire that could not be suppressed. The use of succinct sentences, “A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch” helps to create a sense of excitement in the reader and reveal
Both of these women are mysteriously feminine, pure, naïve and almost dependant on their husbands, but each with one exception. Mina is a secretary for the “Children of Light”; secretarial duties were a man's job then. And Lucy had three suitors, suggesting her subtle promiscuity and desire to break social confines. Despite those facts, both women essentially were the embodiment of the ideal Victorian woman, as says Van Helsing about Mina, “She is one of God’s women, fashioned by His own hand to show us men and other women that there is a heaven where we can enter, and that its light can be here on earth. So true, so sweet, so noble, so little an egoist.” [Stoker, Ch14.
Guadalupe Ramirez Professor Colette Morrow English 442 11 May 2105 The Condemnation of Widows in Elizabethan England and in Hamlet “He that woos a maid, must fain lie and flatter. But he that woos a widow, must down with his breeches and at her.” (Foyster) Hamlet explores a very interesting and complex topic in regard to women and marriage: the widow. The Elizabethan age was somewhat unique in regard to the woman. While it still held true that women often had little choice in their spouse, the Protestant Reformation afforded women a soul and therefore moral agency. As a result, women were allowed more freedom in the Elizabethan age than in previous eras.
Emma Baird Dr. Meredith McCarroll English 232 25 September 2010 The Death of Edna Pontellier: A Rebellious Defeat Even from its first publication, Kate Chopin’s novel The Awakening has caused controversy. While today The Awakening is praised for its feminist undertones, the piece was first criticized for its lack of representation of American values. Instead of depicting a main character that embodied the Victorian ideal of a woman fulfilling the role as an “Angel in the House” which was the norm for American women during this particular historical period, Edna was a rebellious wife and an adulteress, whose desires and yearning for independence lead her to make many radical decisions throughout the course of the novel¾ from inwardly
Housework was a very important task and women were supposed to take great joy in it. Upper and middle class girls were taught from a young age the skills they would need in order to keep a happy, healthy, peaceful home. While the outside world and working force were definitively male, the home was considered to be a feminine place. The outside world was evil and full of sin and wrongdoing, but the home was a moral haven (MacKethan). Husbands went to work in the corrupt world of industry, so they were meant to come home, decompress, and once again become attuned with their compassionate side.