In the novel, Celie starts of as an abused, submissive wife, but is transformed into a confident and independent black woman, which goes against the ‘traditional’ values of that time. The male dominance in the novel is portrayed in several ways, sexual aggression being the main one. The novel itself is set between 1900-1940, in rural Georgia, where males often had power over their wives and children. The men were expected to control their wives and show superiority, this was commonly shown amongst the black community. Due to the daily humiliation faced by the ‘black man’ from the white people, the black men turned their frustration towards their women by beating them.
It was a place of slave labor laundries from the 18th to the late-20th centuries to house "fallen women", a term used to imply female sexual promiscuity. Asylums for such girls and women and others believed to be of poor moral character, such as prostitutes and teenage pregnancy. Harwood critiques her society for its oppressive treatment of women who are unprotected by marriage or respectability. So then she uses imagery to emphasize the hypocritical nature of the Christian Institutes that perpetrate it. Harwood recalls to our mind the sympathy for the young women portrayed in the poem and wants the readers to contemplate the sexism within
In 1960s, the feminist movement emerged against the dominant patriarchal society. The goal of feminism according to Faye Powell was, “to eliminate sexist oppression imposed by patriarchal society…and discriminations against women on the job, in the home and in all areas of women’s lives.” (p. 2.) From this feminism movement comes the awakening in the black women community, known as the “Black Feminism.” The term Black Feminism is used to encompass the needs of all the women of colour. Their realization of being victimized based on gender and race brought about this movement.
From the very first time they were brought to American till the abolition of the bonds and manacles of slavery, the American blacks went through a hard struggle for equality and pursuits to emancipate themselves from segregation and agonies that engrave their history with pains and sufferings. Men and women , alike , were savagely discriminated and subjected to different kinds of abuse and offensive wrongdoings of the hardhearted owners of plantations who exploited the American Blacks to the extent they violently dehumanized and intently deprived them from the simplest right a human being could benefit from. All these hardships and mistreatment threw their light and influential impacts on the whole panorama of the black community and culturally affected it to the welfare of the Blacks. From the womb of anguish and yoke of oppression, men and women started their everlasting struggle to seek their own liberation and fought all kinds of gender and racial segregation through literary texts and works which vehemently let cries in the face of dehumanization and tyranny and call for reformation. Gender and racial problems call for a social critical attention because they pervade and permeate society and form predominant burning issues in the contemporary global scene.
The book Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, written by Harriet Jacobs, takes place in the southern state of North Carolina in the United States during the 19th century. The book is a narrative painful story of her life. She was a black girl born as a slave and therefore, she was condemned to a life of suffering and injustice. Harriet Jacobs narrates the situations she had to go through in order to pursuit her freedom. She explains how slaves suffered when being denied basic human rights and legal protection, how female slaves suffered from sexual harassment and the feeling of responsibility towards her family, particularly her children.
In 1984, women are repressed in an alternate way, where their sexual desires are forbidden to the extent that committing any sexual act is a punishable rebellion. The reaction of women is very contrasting as the reader is shown their differing reactions to the subjugation they endure. The alternate female voices throughout the three novels further give insight into the female experience of the hierarchical worlds the authors create as well as highlighting cotemporary social attitudes. In The Handmaid’s Tale Atwood threatens a future world where women are forced to give birth to high ranking officers children in order to re-populate the country. By having a female narrator, ‘Atwood turns the traditionally masculine dystopian genre upside down’ Howell sees Offred as a narrator who disrupts and subverts the very genre of fiction she constructs.
The hyper-sexuality of Black women in slavery comes as no surprise. It was used as a tactic to justify the sexual practices between slave and master. To Whites, the Black woman had a sexual appetite that could not be fulfilled by Black men. Therefore, it was the White man’s job to satisfy her. They used this excuse to justify the rape and seduction of slave women.
Patriarchal societies have always used stereotypes and images of women as means of control. Discuss giving examples of the controlling images of black women in American society, showing how do women of color seek to reproduce counter-images of ourselves. 3 Response one: In many patriarchal societies, both the cultural perceptions of active and passive female sexuality have been used as tools in terms of sexual politics, in order to dominate women and restrict their sexual and reproductive autonomy. The subjugation that women, and in particular women of color, have faced under the patriarchy that demands (particularly under a passive lens) women be “desirable but not desirous” has rendered and reinforced a visible double standard for the expectations of men and women in terms of sexuality. Patriarchy structurally depends on the existence of this double standard, because it holds men firmly above women in terms of sexual power and freedom.
African-American author Toni Morrison’s book, Beloved, describes a black culture born out of a dehumanising period of slavery just after the Civil War. Culture is a means of how a group collectively believe, act, and interact on a daily basis. Those who have studied her work refer to Morrison’s narrative tales as “literature…that addresses the sacred and as an allegorical representation of black experience” (Baker-Fletcher 1993: 2). Although African Americans had a difficult time establishing their own culture during the period of slavery when they were considered less than human, Morrison believes that black culture has been built on the horrors of the past and it is this history that has shaped contemporary black culture in a positive way. Through the use of linguistic devices, her representation of black women, imagery and symbolic features, and the theme of interracial relations, Morrison illustrates that black culture that is resilient, vibrant, independent, and determined.
Fantine a factory worker is fired because she has a bastard child due to her now being jobless a prostitute and became sick. Valjean realised what happened to her and takes care of her. Inspect Javert finally manage to reveal Valjean for who he was. Fantine dies and give Valjean the authority to take care of her child, Cosette. Valjean escapes and finds the child and lived in a church for 10 years.