Women’s Studies

Major Essay Women across the world face challenges and experiences such as gender class inequality, oppression, struggle with identity, sexual awakening, women’s objectification, personal resistance, reliving women’s history, female empowerment and etc. These are some of the themes that will be addressed In this essay. These themes will be supported by feminist short stories from books such as “The Yellow Wallpaper and other stories” by Charlotte Perkins Gillian and “The Bloody Chamber and other stories” by Angela Carter.

Through the use of aesthetic texts, women’s challenges and experiences will be interpreted using the themes in these stories. In the story “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gillian, focuses on women living In the 19th century where men have a high standing In the social hierarchy that oppressed women, Gender plays a big role In social hierarchy. Even a rich woman cannot exercise the same rights and privileges as men would. Women were not given the same equality as men. Gillian focuses on the themes such as personal resistance and women’s history.

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As the narrator in this story battles with err own psychological mind and the outside world, she slowly falls into deep madness as her obsession grows with the yellow wallpaper. To relief herself from going Insane, she keeps a Journal that exercises her creative mind as her husband prohibits It. This act of writing In her Journal Is also similar to the movie, The Hours where the character Virginia Wolf wrote everyday to keep herself sane in her confinement. The wallpaper represented her sanity and freedom.

As a show of resistance from her husband she tore the wallpaper, which made her feel free and powerful. “l wonder if they all come out of that wallpaper as I did? (Gillian 34) shows her longing of freedom and resistance. Women during this time period did not have much value as they were expected to be only wives and mothers and cannot carry on other responsibilities. “It Is so discouraging not to have any advice and companionship about my work” (Gillian 24) as her husband instructed her to stay in confinement and away from writing.

She has spent her days confined in a room where there is only a window to look at which eventually made her insane. As a woman living In the 19th century, the narrator had no control over her own life and had let her husband dominate her. Women did not have the same opportunities as men did. The author’s use of these themes gave the story a powerful message of women longing for freedom and equality in their society. In the story, “If I Were A Man” by Charlotte Perkins Gillian, focuses on a woman who fought social boundaries and “take risk to improve themselves and their material condition” (Hoofers 36).

As in this story, women were not ready for business but Gillian challenged that. Gillian focuses on the themes such as gender Identity and empowerment, During this time period, women’s roles were to stay confined In their preference in gender role was examined in this story, “Gerald had already about that bill, over which she- as Mollie- was still crying at home” (Gillian 39) shows how different the roles of men and women were. Women were the only subdue to be emotional who stayed at home while the men were the ones who held themselves together with pride and dignity.

Mollie Matheson finds herself to be happy when she becomes her husband Gerald “walking down the path so erect and square- shouldered” (Gillian 35) as manly as she can ever be. The thought of being a man gave Mollie a sense of pride and dignity compared to when she was a woman. In Mollies sense to have equality amongst men, she “felt such freedom and comfort” (Gillian 36) in becoming Gerald as she has all these privileges a woman would not have. Empowerment became a big symbol once Mollie started to earn money and privileges only men would have had. She never had dreamed of how it felt to have pockets” (Perkins 36) shows how she realizes that she is powerful having money and being able to support herself without the need of having a man to rely on. The themes used in this story became an awakening for women to reach higher and climb the social hierarchy to have equal opportunities as men do. In the story, “The Cottage” by Charlotte Perkins Gillian, focuses closely on how traditional male and female roles are slowly evolving. In this story, despite of the old believe in women serving as wives and housekeepers was challenged.

Gillian focuses on themes such as gender identity and status. Malta is expected to be nothing but a wife and housekeeper as “what they care for most, after all, is domesticity… What they want to marry is a homemaker” (Gillian 55) according to her friend. This shows how inequality and lack of freedom plays along in traditional roles f women. Also, Mammal’s lack of independence and longing for Ford’s approval shows how she follows the traditional role of a woman. “l could cook. I could cook excellently… But if it was a question of pleasing Ford Mathews- ” (Gillian 56) as her goal was to please Ford and nothing but Ford.

Women were expected to act polite and demure, as they do not want their status to be devalued. “… She thought it would look better if we had an older person with us… ” (Gillian 57) shows how women are confined to act a certain way and are not able to show who they truly are. Women are also seen as trophies or objects a man can have whenever he wishes, “And woman? He will hold her, he will have her when he pleases” (Gillian 100). Women were treated nothing equally as men but in this story, this concept was challenged.

The themes in this story reminds us that women do have traditional roles but can always do something more than being a wife or housekeeper. In the story, “The Bloody Chambers” by Angela Carter focuses on sexual awakening and women’s objectification through fairytale storytelling. This challenges the typical fairytale story in which is structured as pleasant and happy into gory and violent. The heroine was blossoming into adulthood as she experiences her sexual awakening upon to losing her virginity. “… Away from Paris, away from girlhood, away from the white, enclosed quietude of my mother’s apartment… (Carter 7) shows her freedom from childhood and practice her sexual curiosity. She also compares the act of “… A tender, delicious ecstasy of excitement… ” (Carter 7) leading up to intercourse as meet her husband. She longs and waits the moment when her husband deflowers women “have been major targets of sexual stereotypical and detrimental orphaned” (Adams and Fuller 7) and seen as sexual objects. Marquis viewed the heroine as a sexual object that he can torture and violate. The heroine felt violated as Marquis in a way forced her to undress and deflower her like “disrobing of the bride, a ritual from the brothel” (Carter 15).

The heroine is comparing the lost of her virginity as a ritual from a brothel depicts how disrespected and disgusted she felt while doing this act. Marquis was a power hungry who showed no respect to her brides. The heroine did not feel that losing her virginity was a special act but rather a aromatizing experiences as “watched a dozen husbands approach me in a dozen mirrors… “(Carter 15). Although the story ended with a happy tone, the story still degrades women as the heroin was relieved that she was able to cover her red mark as the blind piano tuner “cannot see it… T spares me shame” (Carter 41). The themes portrayed in this story shows that fairytale stories objectify women and given women a lesser value then they should have. In the story, “Puss in Boots” by Angela Carter examines the role of violence in sex and woman’ objectification. The young woman was predicted as a poor girl who was arced to marry a rich man. In this case, gender and class play a role in social status in this story. As Signor Pantone symbolizes violence and sex for the young woman, as she wishes for sexual gratification she must submit to violence. L gave her the customary tribute of a few firms thrusts of my striped loins” (Carter 70). As Signor Pantone was murdered and passed away, the young woman and Puss’ master proceeded with the act of intercourse despite having a dead corpse next to them. “. They’re at it, hammer and tongs, down on the carpet since the bed is occupy” (Carter 04) shows the young woman’s absurd attraction of violence towards sex. It seems like the young woman is aroused by the acts of violence around her. Women were called unpleasant names and were treated as property by their masters or husbands.

One of Signor Pantheon’s servants was being called a “hag” and described as someone who is very ugly and useless. Also, Signor Pantaloon sees the young woman as property and a sense of please giver. She is also a prisoner of her own where she can only “sit in a window for one hour and one hour only’ (Carter 101) shows how she doesn’t have freedom and is being held captive by her own husband. The themes of violence in sex and women’s objectification helped shaped the story poor outlook on women’s value. In the story, “The Tiger’s Bride” by Angela Carter focuses on women’s objectification and sexual awakening.

The heroine is a beauty whose father had a gambling addiction in which he had lost to the Beast. The heroine then was used as a wager for her father’ gambling addiction. “My father lost me to The Beast at cards. ” (Carter 60) shows how devalued the heroine is. There is also patriarchy played in this story. As the father and the beast holds the heroine in captivity and she has o voice in her own life. “My father said he loved me yet he staked his daughter on a hand of cards. ” (Carter 62) shows how helpless and out of control the heroine’s life is.

She is being used as an object and nothing more but a value of money and not life itself. The heroine’s sexual awakening is measured when she transforms into a beast. This also signifies sex and birth as a way of her transformation. Losing her virginity lick the skin off me! ” (Carter 69) she describes herself being reborn into a tigress. This act of rebirth signifies a man’s reclaim in sex, as a man controls a woman during intercourse. This also ties in with violence in sex as she sheds blood during intercourse and sheds her own skin to become awaken.

The themes delivered a powerful message of the pain and relief in finding one’s awakening. Through the use of feminist themes and ideas, writers Charlotte Perkins Gillian and Angela Carter sent powerful messages in their short stories. Charlotte Perkins Gillian mostly used the feminist themes such as personal resistance and gender identity to explain the underlying meanings in her stories. Characters in Sailing’s writings were rebellious and did not conform to social norms. As they, freely expressed themselves in their own way with a positive ending.

Contrary in Angel Carter’s writings, focused on themes such as women’s objectification and sexual awakening. The male characters usually portrayed having some essence of evil controlling the female character. The stories in Carter’s books are very dark and sexual. Some descriptions in her writing almost have a sense of pornographic image. Both writers gave us a grasp on how themes powerfully send messages throughout the stories. Adams, Terrier M. , and Douglas B. Fuller. “The Words Have Changed But the Ideology Remains the Same: Misogynistic Lyrics in Rap Music.

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Sarah
Danielle
Wilson
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