In comparison Fay Weldon’s Letters to Alice, written a few centuries after, shows a clear link of how particular concerns, held by society, have altered. A women living in the late 1800’s had very few rights and freedoms. Education was a thing men and if a women engaged in such activities she was at risk of being shunned by society or “left on the shelf.” Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice follows a young girl, Elizabeth Bennet, who struggles against society’s expectations. Being a smart and well educated women, she is somewhat frowned upon, however this has been disguised by Austen through her dialogue. An example is seen near the beginning of the book in which Mr Darcey and Mr Binley’s brother are engaged in polite conversation.
The “Yellow Wallpaper’’, a story of a woman’s progressive neurosis that leads to hysteria and insanity, written in gothic style, explores the importance of self-expression, work and creativity in maintaining a healthy and balanced psychological outlook. When this is oppressed by gender and medical subordination, the consequences can be tragic. The yellow wallpaper embodies two aspects within the story. Psychological and Sociological. Both being a reason towards the woman’s slow neurotic ride to insanity.
With an unequal marriage and a woman which let her self-expression ruin her, was the short story "The Yellowwallpaper," a great story to talk about the theme of gender. The theme of gender also has to do with how far the story dates back which is in the 1800's, this focusing on how much pain this woman is in with no place to run. Gilman narrates the story to let the reader have a better look at what this woman is feeling and how she reacts to her surroundings. She actually turns to her husband whom which is a doctor and her companion and he dismisses the notion of her mental illness. He sort of traps her in a controlled space by taking her to a secluded house with no human contact besides her sister, Jennie, and himself who both look at her illness in the same way.
A common worldwide value that Harwood rejects as the normality in life with her poems. Harwood battles against the traditions that she believes support this downgrading by continually returning to the issue. In “Home of Mercy” there is a line in the poem. Here I believe she is talking about the Magdalene Asylums. 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.
She was already thinking ahead to the things she would do as an independent woman. “There would be no powerful will bending hers in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow-creature. A kind intention or a cruel intention made the act seem no less a crime as she looked upon it in that brief moment of illumination” (Meyer, 2012, p. 15). In “The Yellow Wallpaper”, Jane was struggling to have the men in her life take her seriously. She was struggling with what I interpreted as post-partum depression.
In this essay, ). Lorde describes herself as a “forty-nine-year-old black lesbian feminist socialist mother of two” (845) and discusses her own feelings of inferiority. Lorde argues that the oppressed must change how the oppressors view them; by must educating or re-position themselves in society. She believes that the whole society must change their way of seeing difference. The way they currently treat it is to “ignore it, and if that is not possible, copy it if we think it is dominant, or destroy it if we think it is subordinate” (855).
John is very much aware of his wife, the narrator’s mental insecurity. Simultaneously, he embraces a conscious ignorance of his wife, telling her that it would not benefit the situation “if I [she] had ... less opposition and more society and stimulus” (Gilman 1). The reader can assume that John is initially embarrassed and disillusioned by his wife’s illness. This is reiterated as he (“a physician of high standing”) “assures friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression” (Gilman 1). In this instance, John’s social standing as a husband and a doctor conspire against the narrator’s enunciation of her illness.
As such, Weldon through her didactic essay disguised in epistolary form places emphasis on the difficulties of marriage for women in Austen’s context, especially legal powerlessness and dangers of childbirth through her cumulative listing of facts: ‘…you could not sue… he could beat you, if he saw fit’ and ‘the mother was the one to go’. She also suggests that women in the Georgian context were marginalised to the point that marriage was considered a great prize since there was no other choice: ‘women were born poor and stayed poor’, further highlighted through Weldon’s sympathetic reshaping of Mrs Bennet who originally a figure of ridicule, is emphasized to be in fact a reflection of the desperation of women for economic security, therefore Weldon highlights ‘it was the stuff of their life, their very existence. No wonder Mrs Bennet, driven half mad with anxiety… made a fool of herself in public’, a New Historicist approach that redefines Austen’s characters through the historical context. In doing this, Weldon essentially fills in the gaps and silences within Pride and Prejudice, highlighting for the modern audience how Elizabeth was in fact a radical hero because women of this time were so
It is hard to imagine the suppression and adversity women lived with only a few centuries ago. Our history has alluded to an inequality of women among men, telling us that women did not deserve the same inalienable rights; the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In Stanton’s “Declaration of Sentiments’, these are spelled out quite specifically and are drawn on by her own personal experience which speak loudly for the voice of women in the mid 1800’s. It is through the work of Stanton and her supporters that women today have the rights and choices they do and through the writings of Chopin and Wollstonecraft which provide an insightful look into the suppressed yet intellectual nature of the women of their day. The contemporary
Alexandra “If Shakespeare Had a Sister” Virginia Woolf grew up facing many prejudices against educated women. As a result of her desire to be well educated, she took personal offense at the tradition of putting down women educated beyond the social norms. Shakespeare’s sister or any other woman would not have been able to rise to his status and maintain her sanity in the face of the rejection, denial and disapproval that would result from the attempt. The use of example is a tool Woolf uses well to demonstrate her points and exhibit her knowledge of classical texts and critical writing skills. One of Woolf’s supports for her essay was that she discusses the everyday life of a woman so far as she has been to piece it together from the few reports she has been able to recover of that time; complaining that there is not nearly enough information on the period only supports her claims.