The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath and Top Girls By Caryl Churchill both feature motherhood and marriage as one of their main themes even though the texts were set at different points in time. The Bell Jar was published in 1963 around the time of the publication of Betty Freidan’s Feminine Mystique. The Feminine Mystique stated that the ideal housewives of the 1960’s were a myth as each one of them were secretly unhappy but never spoke out about their unhappiness due to fear of not abiding by the social normality of the time. This feeling of displacement in the social norm is what Plath bases the experiences of protagonist Esther upon and what eventually drives Esther into mental instability. Motherhood and marriage is seen to be a key factor in the society of which The Bell Jar is set ,and is portrayed as one of the things that supresses female identity when Esther is asked to be “Mrs Buddy Willard” as if she is owned by Buddy and not her own person.
Good wives were considered to cook, clean, take care of the children, and treat their husbands well. Such traits are still believed to be good to this day, but the problem is when these views get in the way of a woman’s goals to become something more than just a house-wife. Further, she goes to describe how degrading some of these comments are such as “I want a wife to pick up after me.” (180); “I want a wife who will not bother me with rambling complaints about a wife’s duties.” (180). After reviewing just these few comments out of many I see that those statements are very degrading and narcissistic. This is no way to treat a woman that you are supposed to love; it sounds more like being a wife was more like being a slave in her viewpoint.
The concept of Obento lunches is very important to the mother. On one hand the mother is trying show that she is a good mother; she is showing that she is creative; and also showing the enormous amount of time she has spent on preparing the food. Obento lunches are also an important key to how the child will function in society. Family is a fundamental societal institution where each component, or member contributes to the development of society as a whole. In Japanese culture, along with other cultures, “mothers are often considered the primary agent for socializing children” (Mariko).
Frustrated, she name-drops a few well-known feminists and the "womyn" in her feminist criticism class from graduate school, and addresses the issues they once mentioned involving motherhood and careers. She finally comes to the realization that she is most frustrated with her husband, because it was not through discussion that her position as strictly housewife came about. The result of the piece is resignation, and an occasional babysitter--not uplifting or hopeful, but a way to cope and another woman's story to think about. - N.T. Hope Edelman looks at the realities of marriage and imbalanced parenting roles in her article "The Myth of Co-Parenting."
While she is slow and analytical in composition, I am rapid and synthetic. I am the better writer, she is the better critic. She supplied the facts and statistics, I the philosophy and rhetoric, and together we have made arguments that have stood unshaken by the storms of thirty long years,” about her and Anthony. The movie explores the early life of Anthony and Stanton, relationship with their strong minded fathers, their religious and economic background. The film portrays the struggles and heartaches of each woman’s life choice, displaying the constraint placed on the 19th century woman by the ideal of female domesticity.
True Womanhood exemplified in “Light in the Darkness: A Sketch from Life” Women tend to put pressure on themselves to fit the mould of an idealistic woman- whether it's being the perfect mother, wife, sister, and daughter. Even in the mid-nineteenth century, women were expected to exemplify the attributes of True Womanhood in order to maintain a perfect image. According to Barbara Welter, “True Womanhood, by which a woman judged herself and was judged by her husband, her neighbours and society could be divided into four cardinal virtues – piety, purity, submissiveness and domesticity” (152). Women from this time period are expected to behave according to these virtues, and also to embrace the “angel of the house” ideal. A woman lacking these virtues is severely looked down upon by society, and is considered a “fallen angel”.
The Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy defines feminism as being ‘both an intellectual commitment and a political movement that seeks justice for women and the end of sexism in all forms’. The feminist movement has been an ongoing process for the last two centuries and has been debated by many. Some argue that women have already achieved equality, which is highly true ‘on paper’ in terms of politics, laws and the workplace. However it could also be argued that the genders are not culturally and socially equal. This is particularly evident in some Media portrayal of females and through social dynamics within daily life.
Obasan: Female Role Models A girl’s largest role model is the women around her. Their presence and influence has the ability to shape their world either negatively or positively. In the novel Obasan, written by Joy Kogawa, Aunt Emily, Obasan and Nesan are the main females that play a role in Naomi’s life. Aunt Emily is the strong, confident Japanese- Canadian woman. Obasan is the protective caregiver, and Nesan is her once loving mother.
Looking deeper into the novel with an historical perspective, it becomes clear that Chopin uses the identity crisis Edna Pontellier was having as a wife, mother, and woman to symbolize the expressed views of millions of women during the Women’s Right Movement of the 1800’s. In the late 1800’s, women of a Victorian Society was expected to marry according to their father’s religious beliefs. Women of this era are believed “not in capacity to judge for themselves”. The Victorian Society felt it was a woman’s place to [“abide by the decisions of their fathers…as confidently as by that of the church”] (Wollstonecraft, 1975, p.87). In “The Awakening”, Chopin challenges society’s expectations of marriage when Edna marries Leonce Pontellier in “violent opposition of her father” (Chopin, 1899, p.35), for Leonce was a catholic and Edna’s father was Presbyterian.
They talked how hard it is to be ambitious woman, who knows what she wants and all the negativities about being powerful woman. It is hard to be a woman in the 21st century and to live with all kind of stereotypes, to fight for equal rights, and to be: a good mother, wife, and woman with career at the same time. Traditionally, the female stereotypic role is to marry, have children and take care for the household and her husband. This is unfair and hard to live it. Not every woman on the planet wants to get married and have children.