Theory Summary Essay In this theory Gayle coveys how sex is used to display dominance and power. She breaks down today’s view on sexuality and the stereotypical and hypocritical categories placed on gender. She focuses on homosexuals, pedophiles, children, women, transvestites and more. She argues that sex shapes society’s social norms, in other words society no longer uses sex as only for reproduction. She references western culture in this argument to suggest our humanity is built solely upon the idea of sex as a natural force that is the basis of social structure.
Writers have long used the motif of insanity within literature to convey, in symbolic form, our narcissistic preoccupation with our own psyche, with the treatment of madness in literature perhaps reflecting human ambivalence towards the mind itself . In ‘Jane Eyre’, Charlotte Bronte presents mental instability through the character Bertha Mason, whose existence acts as a barrier to the relationship between the eponymous heroine and Mr Rochester. Bertha is concealed by Rochester in a secret room of Thornfield which exacerbates her madness, and this characteristic strongly distinguishes her from Jane’s ‘European’ virtues of patience and servility, hence her existence being an obstacle in Rochester’s relationship to Jane. In ‘Wide Sargasso Sea’, Jean Rhys presents madness using the symbolism of fire in connection to one of the main protagonists, Antoinette. The characters (Bertha in Bronte’s ‘Jane Eyre’ and Antoinette in Rhys’ ‘Wide Sargasso Sea’)have an intertextual relationship and the ‘mad’ behaviour they both exhibit is linked to the Nineteenth century conception of female hysteria, which was once a common medical diagnosis made exclusively for women considered to be suffering from madness.
Surrealism is an art form that started in Europe in the 1920s. It was actually in response to the Dada movement, a movement founded on the general disdain for war and living conditions. Surrealism was also a protest to the current lack social and moral values, but instead of the absurd, “anti-art” works seen in Dadaism, artists were to look into their dreams and subconscious for inspiration for their work. Surrealism was initially found in poetry and writings, but soon became part of the art world as well. Many Surrealists were inspired by Sigmund Freud and his work with the subconscious mind (www.moma.org).
Although, highly engrossed in medieval concepts of patriarchy, Romantic poets like S.T Coleridge, John Keats’ fraction of work silhouettes range in the attributes of Feminism. They are; liberty of thought, freedom of expression and equality in social hierarchy with men. The role of women in society, in early 18th century and before, portrays a dismal picture as far as their liberty, social status and gender equality is concerned. Medieval culture, deep rooted in religion, had kept woman at bay from the mainstream economic, political and societal activities. She was a threat to the male chauvinism and was condemned as a weaker, inferior sort of being.
The description of change from 'scientist' to 'savant' indicates an scornful view held by Hannah towards this development from thinking to feeling. She describes the hermit to represent the 'nervous breakdown' of the Romantic era. This further indicates her personal belief of it being a 'decline from thinking to feeling'. However, she does mention how he was a 'sage of lunacy', 'suspected of genius', which could hint at a different kind of knowledge being discovered in the Romantic era, rather than a complete intellectual descent from Classicism and the Enlightenment. Other representations of this in the play could be in how Thomasina, a highly intellectual girl before her time, expresses an initial ignorance of sex but slowly develops this knowledge towards the end of the play.
They also include comparing the novel to Freud’s theories on sexuality. According to Freud’s theories on sexuality, the studies focus more on the sexuality of the inner human, or more how the Id affects the Ego. The characters repress (contain) sexual notions. Women not supposed to talk about sexuality so characters repress see above. Comes out in their dreams where vampires are their repressed sexual
However, Desdemona is also depicted as aggressive and opposing to Shakespeare’s context through Othello’s story. Othello explains that Desdemona has “with a greedy ear, devour[ed] up [his] discourse.” This metaphorical characteristic of Desdemona challenges cultural assumptions about women in Shakespeare’s context. When Desdemona speaks for herself, in a very assertive and intellectual manner she states, “I did love the Moor to live with him”. This statement expands on Desdemona’s sexual nature. Shakespeare has challenged his own context in this scene, providing an opportunity for Orson Wells to also develop a controversial Desdemona – appropriate to his own context.
What is feminism? Feminism is, simply put, the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men. When one applies a feminist view to popular culture or literature, one is questioning and interpreting thoughts in society or in the text. Feminism can challenge oneself to live differently by questioning and confronting gender roles and stereotypes. Through Frankenstein, Mary Shelley proved that she asked these preceding questions of herself.
This poem is in its truest sense a feminist poem, one that laments the historical and mythological scorn of women, and provides a new light in which to view the fairer sex. There are countless juxtapositions throughout Clampitt’s lines, and aided by the reflexive nature of her poem, she presents a work matching the complexity of the mythological Medusa herself. To appreciate Clampitt’s message, one must delve deep into her almost purposeful convolutions, as one must do to understand the true nature of Medusa. Clampitt wrote “Medusa” to provide a commentary on the disparate and often negative light in which women have historically been viewed. To do this, she uses the famous story of Medusa, a figure that has consistently been vilified and relegated to the dark annals of mythology.
mankind’s experience of evil, experience of guilt and separation. • Psychological study of typically romantic characters, e.g. Victor, Walton, Clerval… • The ‘monster’ himself has been studied in connection with Rousseau’s theory of man’s natural goodness perverted by a hostile environment. • A sociological approach to the novel stresses its importance as a social document, giving evidence of a woman’s role /family ties/ education, etc.. in the first decades of the 19th century. • Feminist critics are especially interested in issues concerning women’s culture.