Powerful Women and Submissive Women in Njal’s Saga and the Bible Essay

Powerful Women and Submissive Women in Njal’s Saga and the Bible Essay.

Ancient societies and their cultures traditionally provided women with no access to power. It was nearly universal for women to be treated as subservient to men while being expected to behave mildly and submissively. The New Testament makes no exception. The Apostle Paul explains that through Christ, women are absolved of constraints that the social hierarchy imposes on them, but he later goes on to explain that even in Christ a religious hierarchy still exists. By acknowledging that women are inferior to men in both the social and religious circles, Paul presents women as subordinates.

This contrasts with Njal’s Saga. Through the saga’s characters Gunnhild, Hallgerd, and Bergthora, the unknown author presents the way Icelandic society treats women as property to men, and demonstrates women as powerful and influential characters who hold their individual desires to a higher degree to those of men; acting as catalysts of conflicts among men and the overall plot itself. In Njal’s Saga, the author introduces the Queen of Norway, Gunnhild, in the beginning of the story.

Gunnhild’s position in society as a powerful character is demonstrated when she sends a servant for the traveling Icelanders, Hrut and Ozur, saying, “Tell them that I invite them both to spend the winter with me and that I want to be their friend. If Hrut listens to my advice I will look after his property claim… I’ll also put in a good word for him with the king. ” The two give their response when Ozur says, “It’s clear to me, kinsman, that we have already taken our decision, for I know Gunnhild: if we don’t go to her she will drive us from our land and grab all our possessions.

But if we go to her she will show us the honour she has promised (Njal’s Saga, 7). “ Rather than simply disregarding the woman and approaching the king, here the two Icelanders acknowledge a woman’s (Gunnhild’s) power to take away their possessions and act to avoid this from occurring. Additionally, Hrut and Ozur’s realization of the strategic benefit that follows when submitting to Gunnhild as well as the quoted promise suggests that they also acknowledge that Gunnhild may possess significant influence in decisions.

This suggestion is eventually confirmed when she successfully convinces the King to accept Hrut as a bodyguard (Njal’s Saga, 8). Even though the King is the superior, Gunnhild still possesses the ability to influence him. Her influence demonstrates her ability to assume and exercise a degree of power. It is through her power that Gunnhild goes on to instigate a chain of events. After having Hrut as a lover for several seasons, Gunnhild reasserts her power when Hrut asks to return to Iceland.

Though she lets him return, she sends a curse along with him. She says, “If I have as much power over you as I think I have, then I cast this spell: you will not have sexual pleasure with the woman you plan to marry in Iceland, though you’ll be able to have your will with other women. Neither of us comes out of this well, because you did not tell me the truth (Njal’s Saga, 13). ” The curse she places on Hrut actually comes true (Njal’s Saga, 16). Hrut cannot please his wife and Gunnhild’s desire to hold a degree of dominance over Hrut is fulfilled.

Because Hrut wants to please his wife but cannot, his desires are unfulfilled. This suggests that Gunnhild’s demands and desires are superior to those of men. It is the demands and desires of a woman that instigate events. The author immediately presents Gunnhild in the very first significant event of the Saga, as a woman with power. It is through this that it is ultimately suggested that the tone of behavior of women is established early in the saga. The behavioral tone set by Gunnhild is echoed through Hallgerd, Gunnar’s wife.

Her desire to preserve her honor in the face of Bergthora, Njal’s wife, as well as her position of power allows her to trigger a series of conflicts. At a customary feast between the families of Njal and Gunnar, Hallgerd and Bergthora engage in an argument, attacking each other’s honor. Gunnar refuses to defend his wife, saying, “I’m going home, and it would be best for you to pick quarrels with your servants, and not in the dwellings of others. I’m in debt to Njal for many honours, and I’m not going to be a cat’s paw for you. When the time comes for the men to ride to the “Thing,” Gunnar tells Hallgerd, “Behave yourself while I’m away and don’t show your bad temper where my friends are concerned. ” Hallgerd, thinking that Bergthora is plotting to steal excess wood from a forest shared between Gunnar and Njal, sends her servant, Kol, to kill Svart Bergthora’s servant who is innocently collecting wood (he does so) (Njal’s Saga, 57-59). Here Gunnar clearly expresses his friendship with Njal and his disdain for his wife’s behavior.

Even though Gunnar clearly commands his wife to not act against his friends, Hallgerd refuses to relinquish her anger and desire for honor and disregards Gunnar’s demands. Hallgerd’s desire to preserve her honor by causing the death of Svart demonstrates her ability to incorporate her desires into her decisions. Combined with her authority over her servants, she clearly possesses the ability to make crucial decisions. This particular decision results in the death of another’s family, which in turn instigates reoccurring conflict between Njal and Gunnar.

It could be argued that women do not actually possess power because it is not exercised against the will of man when he is present, based on Gunnar’s absence during Hallgerd’s actions. This argument is rejected because the feud between Hallgerd and Bergthora still disregards their husbands’ demands to retain peace. Disregarding a man’s will, whether in his absence or not, indicates a lack of absolute authority over women. Because of this disregard, women appear to have authority over their own lives and decisions.

Even Gunnar acknowledges this when he “said she would decide her own actions – ‘but I shall decide how the cases are settled (Njal’s Saga, 60). ’” This clearly demonstrates the husband’s inability to assert complete dominance over his wife, leaving only the decision of the consequences of the women’s actions to the men. Again, the desires of the women take precedence over the demands of the men. On the other hand, the Apostle Paul presents women as completely subordinate to men, expected to never act on their own desires and to submit to God and their husbands.

Paul does this by establishing women’s inferiority in both the social and religious hierarchy. He first says, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Gal. 3:27-28). ” Here Paul is acknowledging that in his society, like the Jews, Greeks, and slaves, women are repressed and that the following of Christ does not discriminate against these social restraints.

Because there is no discrimination through Christ, it could be argued that Paul is preaching religious equality among women. However, he goes on to establish women’s inferiority even in religion. I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the husband is the head of his wife, and God is the head of Christ. Any man who prays or prophesies with something on his head disgraces his head, but any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled disgraces her head… For a man ought not to have his head veiled since he is the image and reflection of God; but woman is the reflection of man (Cor. 1:3-16). Here Paul clearly expresses that the religious hierarchy is as follows: God, then Christ, then man, and finally women. In that order Paul establishes a chain of command per se. Paul clearly places men above women in this hierarchy, which clearly indicates women’s inferiority to men in religion. His decree that women should wear a veil when praying or prophesizing is reflective of this hierarchy; the veil is a symbol of a woman’s subordination to man and therefore God.

This means that equality in religion does not exist between men and women. Because Paul acknowledges that social restraints on women do in fact exist and because he establishes a religious hierarchy with men outranking women, it is assumed that Paul views women as generally inferior to men in both social and religious spheres. Although Paul’s letters to both the Galatians and the Corinthians do not refer to any specific women, they establish his expectations of women.

Paul’s identification of women as both socially and religiously inferior creates a general air of inferiority for women, which contrasts with the women of Njal’s Saga who possess actual power over men, able to instigate events and conflicts between men. The women of Njal’s Saga are not totally confined to any kind of hierarchy , while those that Paul speaks of are. The role of women in varying societies has been a dilemma in today’s contemporary age. The increasing number of those who view women as independent and equal to men combats firm-standing traditions and cultures that expect women to behave as subordinates to men.

Many religions to this day implement the same expectations (to be mild and submissive to men) of women that Paul shares in both their social and cultural, as well as their religious spheres. In other parts of the world women hold influential positions of power, from independent mothers to high-ranking political officers. The dilemma of the role of women in society is prominent in every society, forming a variety of societies due to their adherence to social and more often than not, religious customs.

Powerful Women and Submissive Women in Njal’s Saga and the Bible Essay

Women in the 1940’s vs. Women in the Millianial Essay

Women in the 1940’s vs. Women in the Millianial Essay.

You may look at my title and say to yourself, women are the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow; strong, beautiful, feminine, and self-confident. Now you are probably smiling saying that’s me. Well not so fast. Although women in the 1940’s (Greatest Generation also known as The Lucky Few) and women today (Generation Y also known as Millennial) have some similarities, they also have their differences. This essay will be providing you with similarities and differences about women roles and expectations, work, money and recession in the 1940’s and today and then you will see what it means.

This period (1940’s) was a time of many tumultuous changes for the nation in general, such as World War 1 and the Great depression. Each of these factors significantly influenced women’s roles in both the family and the work force.

Expectations of women were greater and more settled in the 1940’s. Young women then were expected to marry at a young age, usually around eighteen years of age.

Although you may think that that was too young of a time to marry, in my opinion it kept women from running around with many kids and no father. At least they were a family. Women were expected to work hard in factories and domestic services. However, most women were having duties at home doing chores, babysitting, educating their children and run the house while the husband was not there. Society thought that doing these things would be a “successful women” (Sophia Cassey,) which they were somewhat right. If you look at these women, they became very successful hardworking women, making money and still taking care of home and nothing has changed.

Women roles and expectations today are just about similar. Women’s roles today are still to clean, cook, work, and take care of themselves. The only thing is that they have help. The men are to do the same thing and help out around the house. Women today work hard and are in school. The only difference between women today and then is that we are able to vote, but we barely go do it. In my opinion, we work but we aren’t hard workers like those in the 1940’s. We sit and have kids but don’t want to work to take care of family or ourselves. We sit and wait on a check instead of getting out here and working for it. We have a chance to fight in the wars and go help out but we don’t. Instead we act like we are to pretty to get out and get dirty. Instead of get out and make something out of ourselves, we sit at home and look at television and worry about keeping our figure up and hair done instead of spending time with family and doing chores. We also don’t have to go to war to help the men but we can choose to.

Women in the 1940’s as well as the women today work and many loved to work. Women in the 1940’s weren’t able to work to start off with but then had the opportunity to. Only when millions of men joined the armed forces, women took on an active role in World War II and took on many paid jobs that previously had been held by men – such as bank teller, shoe salesperson or aircraft mechanic. Woman started working in factories – this was called the “Rosie the Riveter” phenomenon. (Tomas) As a way to lure young women into the factories, advertisers showed women workers as glamorous and even fashionable. They mentioned that women did not care much about their appearance while at work, but that they were still feminine underneath the dirt. (Gregory 32) Women today work well at least some.

Many women have stopped working as much or period so that they could stay home take care of kids and do chores. But many are just lazy. They have gotten lazy over time. Although, the fact that women today don’t work as much and hard as women in the 1940’s so that they can be that house wife, is great. But many take advantage and lose themselves. Many women today are pursuing their careers unlike women did back in the 1940’s. Women today also get paid more than those in the 1940’s. We may get paid more but they got way more hours than we are able to get now. Women will still and always do some work for the most part of them. Now that you see our differences here are our similarities. When it comes down to how we handle money and our recession we are very similar. In the 1940’s women believed in saving money.

Saving money and being “thrifty” were considered virtues (ppt. Intro to the Six Generations). Money was spent on survival at this time rather than luxury. Women (also men) spent their money wisely taking care of the house, bills, and things of that nature. It wasn’t spent on cars, big houses and things of that nature. Not saying they didn’t buy clothes and shoes and things they just weren’t concerned about the brand and or spending lots of money on it. Women today they are known as the “cheapest” generation. Some don’t want to end up like their parents and in debt they rather save their money and use it wisely, just because of the recession. Women today are also not worried about going out and buying fancy cars and homes even though the commercials they show have you thinking it’s a great thing to invest we aren’t stupid and we don’t want it.

Women in the 1940’s and women today are going through and have been through a recession. Times are hard and always have been for women in the 1940’s not being able to work to start off and then when they did they got low pay. We get higher pay now but not many hours. We can barely get a job in our career along. We have no work, not much money, and opportunities to choose from this day of time (as far as jobs in our career). We all are suffering and have suffered trying to make a way for ourselves and family. We women are still the stronghold in life, beautiful, intelligent, and strong. And although women have their differences in their beliefs and expectations they also have their similarities in recession and money. Women are yet not the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

missgenglish.wikispaces.com/file/view/Women+in+the+1940’s.pp http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_home_front_during_World_War_II http://www.nps.gov/pwro/collection/website/propaganda.htm
http://www.boredpanda.com/women-at-work-1940s/ July 23rd 2010 http://www.unification.net/misc/21-women.html

Women in the 1940’s vs. Women in the Millianial Essay

Marginalized Indian women in Inner Courtyard Essay

Marginalized Indian women in Inner Courtyard Essay.

Inner Courtyard is a large compilation of short stories which is basically based upon the female issues in particular subjugation under the patriarchal order. The stories are written by women about women hailing from all corners of India and Pakistan – Assam to Kerala and Pakistan to Bengal. With the title of the collection, it gives readers an apparent impression about women’s freedom radius is only the inner courtyard of house. So is in the Vedas, the Gita and other Hindu religious scriptures, women are posed as the beings of house, crossing the threshold of house is rigorously outlawed.

Equality between sexes is beyond imagination. Education remained a dream for the women and the conception of human beings as morally and intellectually capable of being educated and civilized is refused, and the conviction of the moral and intellectual advancement of humankind would result in greater happiness for everybody is deliberately sidetracked. This and many more lifeblood threads are far stretched and inconsiderate with regard to women and their rights.

The book introduces with the first story highlighting this very theme.

The editor of the book Laxmi Holmstrom brings out a fabulous collection of short stories from very diverse walks of life dealing each of the stories with single theme of women being marginalized, harassed, humiliated – female discrimination. In this line, many stories are powerful on their own; most have some element that reflects on the position of the society. Male ascendancy is always at honour while female’s is at stake. There is a vast disparity between an Indian woman and that of the developed nations across the world.

The female honour and rights rest upon the basics of respective nations’ culture, in this respect India as a nation of strong and prehistoric culture bound by the religious scriptures cited above abandon women lamenting every moment. Their identity is always subject to the male mercy than that of the natural human rights. They are left pondering over the negligible status in the Indian set up as in Revenge Herself; the Tatri; a Brahmin woman of lowest strata in Brahmin community in Kerala, mothers in Girls, Summer Vacation, My Beloved Charioteer and Her Mother or even Sakina of The Meeting.

The First Party is also an analogous illustration which encounters the husband’s vanity being modern and wise person while his wife an odd one out in the party. The first story Revenge Herself by Lalitambika Antarjanam in the collection is a powerful tale of a fallen Nambudiri woman of the 19th century. Her name itself has become a synonym for shameful among the patriarchal Nambudiri. According to the Tatri traditional, such woman’s life is giving away herself to husband in everything without any self for herself.

So does she, she marries a man whom she offers herself in order “to please him in his taste of sex with the same attention I have for his taste for food”. But one point of time, he disregards her for other women and leaves her. Further he even brings a prostitute into the house and asks to become like her, “If you could be like her, I might like you better”. This results in her rebellion to revenge against her husband.

She leaves his house, sets out to become a whore, working hard to learn how to please a man and eventually becomes an admired courtesan and one day her husband visits her then she reveals herself as the same Tatri; his wife who he has expected to become like a whore. In this case who would Tatri have teamed up for executing her rebellion? Society has so trained its peers that it would be impossible for anyone to entertain even remotely the ideas that she puts into execution. Summer Vacation by Kamala Das is a sweet childhood story narrated by Muthassi (grandmother) whom she visits alone.

Her father drops her off at the station of Muthassi’s place. Vaidehi Akku is a story of Akku; a husbandless daughter of the patriarchal family. She exposes herself wherever her beauty can be exhibited by wearing new saris and jewelry at weddings or whatever which seems like a social objection in terms of the cultural and conservative norms. The other major story of the book is Girls by Mrinal Pande it is about three sisters and their mother who is pregnant for the fourth time for a son. They go to her Nani’s (maternal grandmother) for having the baby while their father stays back.

At the outset itself, the mother refrains with, “I hope it is a boy this time. It will relieve me of the nuisance of going through another pregnancy”. Even the Nani prays god for protecting her honour so that at the fourth time she would take a son back from her parents’ home. Taking the thread of Nani, neighbour comments that the last time her skin had a pinkish tinge, now it is yellow; it is sure to be a son. Another feature of the story shares the issue with marginalization in the family, this relates to the masi of the sisters. She complains about her endurance in the house and put to work as a dog so is duly responded by all women.

In continuance of the first issue of gender discrimination, the following statement carries serious social consideration when their father assures that there is a bright star in the sky and they work hard they can become anything they want to just as Dhruva star, the author in the girl’s character asks, “But I can’t become a boy, can I? ” This marks grave place in girls’/women’s hearts and pains for longer or perhaps lifelong. In case of the girl in the story, the girl rebels at the occasion of Ashtami (kanyakumari) puja calling the society if they do not love girls they should not pretend to worship them either.

This story illustrates the scenario of a male dominating world and how female gender is subjugated. The opening introduces characters of the story. Despite the fact that how the story is set in a male dominating there is very little to mention of the male gender. The first sentence is bold and exasperated, desensitized mother who thinks that girls have no visage and always looks forward to the boys. Yellow Fish by Ambai – a simple two page story compares the torture a fish feeling on being tossed out of the sea to the anxiety of a woman’s feelings.

The story shares any Indian woman’s feelings and her freedom of choice and life is at the patriarchal order. The next finest story of the collection is Ismat Chughtai’s Chauthi ka Jaura. The greatest mission of the Siddiqui in life is to provide a husband for the elder daughter Naseema who is not gifted in matters of health or features. She is frail and un-voluptuous and has a thin hair. When the daughter’s cousin comes to stay with them for some time as part of his professional training, it proves to be a godsend to them.

They begin plotting to arrange the cousin’s interest in the elder daughter but instead, the younger and more daring daughter is sent as the messenger with the proposition. Due to this circumstantial misunderstanding, the cousin agrees to marry, but with the younger sister, without knowledge of the fact, the ladies of the house rejoice. The cousin can no longer control himself and grabs the younger girl. The elder daughter commits suicide at that. After some time, the ladies continue to stitch the Chautha ka Jaura while the younger daughter sits and looks at them without response and careless.

Another beautiful story is the First Party by Attia Hossain which depicts in marvelous manner the conventional or orthodox women being put to stake at the cost of sophistication and modern life traits. The woman in the story is just married and taken to a modern party to be introduced wherein all sophisticated people gather and enjoy, drink, eat and dance with their or different partners. The woman is not used to it though she hails from an equally affluent family. She feels embarrassed among the people involved in partying.

Being pressed by her husband and others, she refuses to involve but keep sitting aside with a glass in hand. At such demeanor, he feels being humiliated and dishonoured having such unrefined and orthodox wife as the partying people laugh at his wife. Should education, if imparted to women, not play major and vital contribution in women’s life in totality as in the case of this woman of the First Party? Or who should be responsible for her being orthodox and traditional, respecting the culture which in many terms is treasured the patriarchal order or the women or even the culture itself?

The Meeting by Shama Fatehally also comes out with similar male mindset in the Indian social set up. The protagonist of the story; a Muslim unmarried girl is given a marriage proposal which incredibly unexpected for Sakina who is so fat like ‘elephantine’ and nothing in looks to mention. She is nostalgic by the thought of the proposal. She is apprehensive about the person to be ‘a real man’. It gives way out to dreaming about the boy to be a handsome person like a dream hero etc. Her father criticises her for daydreaming. True to it, it proves to be a foil to her dream as her partner is not a boy but a middle aged man.

Father forgets that a human being dreams and marriage of either female or male is dreamt about the partner. A general question can be posed to the society, should the women looking ugly or whatever not have right to dreaming like the counterparts in boys and men who may be equally looking ugly or so. If men hold the right, women should also possess. Shashi Deshpande’s My Beloved Charioteer and Mahasweta Devi’s Dopdi picturise the similar stories of women being victimised at every stage of life whether as a girl, married woman, mother or even old woman.

Grandmother in the former story is a sheer victim of the patriarchal order even before her marriage till her husband’s death. She feels envious at her daughter’s happy married life and when her affliction for her dead husband for whom she gives up her own and her daughter’s life. It is a shock to the readers. The latter story deals with the extreme brutality of human beings towards the woman. It relates to Mahabharata’s Draupadi on how she was humiliated publicly which added to the pride of the then men folk. All this went for no fault of Draupadi. This cruelty ever since continues witnessing and spreading the message.

Dopdi of this story is a tribal woman revolts against the society at large but beaten by the treachery of the militancy and raped inhumanly. L. Vishwapriya’s the Library Girl is an impressive story and only optimistic story of the book where woman is honoured and let free to read and roam around the town though a Muslim girl. But it does keep the thrust of dishonoring the girl as she comes of age. She is put into golden cage; a Persian robe (burqa). She thinks the robe adding beauty to her personality but hidden it in the guise of the robe. Her budding beauty is hidden from the malicious eyes about which she is unaware.

The book offers both detailed argumentation and passionate eloquence in opposition to the social inequalities commonly imposed upon women by a patriarchal culture. Just as in revolutionary Lalitambika Antarjanam defends the emancipation of women on utilitarian grounds. The legal subordination of one sex to another is immoral in itself and now one of the chief hindrances to human improvement; and that it ought to be replaced by a system of perfect equality, admitting no power and privilege on the one side, nor disability on the other. Women are brought up to act as if they were weak, emotional, docile – a traditional prejudice.

If tried equality, the results can be seen benefitting to individual women. They would be free of the unhappiness of being told what to do by men. And there are benefits for society at large doubling the mass of mental faculties available for the higher service of humanity. The ideas and potential of half the population would be liberated, producing a great effect on human development. These marginalised women have today set their feet on all fields and corners of life with regard to education and professional assignments. A long way witnesses many such destinations, if she is equal and free.

Marginalized Indian women in Inner Courtyard Essay

A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story Movie Essay

A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story Movie Essay.

Is it characters, the storyline, or overall message that makes a movie great? There have been numerous movies made, but just a few have had a sincere impact on people. A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story did just that. It is about a transgender teenage and his amazing journey to self discovery to live life as a woman. It is a true based television movie the premiere in 2006 on Lifetime Movie Network. It is starring JD Pardo as the main character Eddie/Gwen Araujo and Mercedes Ruehl as his mother Sylvia Guerrero.

This true based movie works, because it keeps the view’s attention up to the end.

The movie begins with Eddie, his mother, and sibling movies into a new house after his mother left his abusive father. Eddie and his family attend his grandfather’s birthday party where Eddie is dress in his sister’s pink party dress by his sister and cousins then present to his family to see.

As a child Eddie likes to play dress-up by wearing his mother’s clothes and lip. His strange habits worry her mother, so she has him checked out by a doctor that tells her Eddie is fine. In high school Eddie decides to become Gwen by dressing like a girl, growing his hair, and wearing make-up. Gwen tells his mother that he is spending the night at his best friends, but instead he go to a party. His best friend calls his phone, which his mother answers to discover that Gwen never showed up at her house. The police find Gwen’s body buried in the wilderness wrapped in a shower curtain, which they then inform his family. Gwen was strangled to death with a rope by four young men after they discover that she was a male. The movie ends with Gwen’s murders facing trial for the horrible crime they committed and becoming sentence.

On the whole, the film remains a story of a young man who wishes to live life as a woman in world. The movie is completely overflowing with scenes that are uplifting and tear-jerking. An excellent cast of actors helps A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story achieve its success. Gwen’s story allows the viewers to see that even though we live in a modern society there are still somethings people consider something be wrong. Some people feel that being gay or transgender is wrong based on the up bring and religious beliefs. This movie helps get the message across that being transgender is a condition that someone is born.

A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story is an excellent movie. If you like movies with drama and realism than A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story is the film for you. During the movie, viewers gain an understanding of transgender people and issues they face in their daily lives. A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story, a moving drama about a young man’s courage to make a daring decision to live as a girl and face the world. In today’s modern society there are individuals that still deal with being transgender on a daily basis. If a tragedy like Gwen’s was to occur again, there are now stricter laws on punishment for it. If a hate crime is committed, which none of Gwen’s murders were charged with would end in serious jail time. No one deserves to be killed, because of his or her race, sexuality, or religion. The movie tells viewers that tolerance is the crucial asset for the 21st century and it has got no room for anything else.

A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story Movie Essay

The Awakening: Edna Pontellier Character Essay

The Awakening: Edna Pontellier Character Essay.

Kate Chopin’s “The Awakening”, her most famous novella, was written in 1899 and is widely regarded as one of the earliest American works that earnestly focuses on women’s issues and ideals. Chopin’s novel captures the essence of the struggle for freedom, equality, and independence in which women have been formally engaged for almost 150 years. In Edna Pontellier we find a woman that goes beyond being a symbol for freedom and the pursuit of female independence, but a complex individual coming to terms with very human cognitions and emotions.

As the novel begins, we are introduced to a “Mrs. Pontellier”, a woman seen through her husband’s eyes, one whose identity was clearly bound to her spouse, his surname, and perhaps most importantly – his society. As the novel progresses we get to know her as “Edna Pontellier”, a woman attached to her familial and societal duties, albeit feeling like a perpetual outsider in a Creole society.

During their stay in Grand Isle, she peels away the restrictions and chains binding her to the people around her, her own children included.

Her change is noticeable even by her husband, who states in chapter XIX: “He could see plainly that she was not herself. That is, he could not see that she was becoming herself and daily casting aside that fictitious self which we assume like a garment with which to appear before the world.”(pg.108) By the end of the novel, we meet a new woman to take the place of the restrained shell; we meet “Edna”. Edna is, finally, an individual. She is not a mother-woman, or a housewife; she is nothing more than Edna, but in being so she becomes a symbol of freedom for the women of her time. The matter of Edna’s awakening is clearly strongly connected to the woman’s increasing artistic inclinations.

Her dabbling in the arts ignites her divergent desires and initiates her straying from the norm, setting her on the road to becoming her own person; in fact, Edna’s experimentation with art directly corresponds to her lifestyle and sexual experimentation. All of the changes in the novel connect to the confusion her role as a female artist has created, including her opinions of the people around her, her ignited romantic desires, the decay of her relationships and eventually, her own death.

This is particularly obvious near the end of the novel, when she thinks of Mademoiselle Reisz, the epitome of an artistic and therefore “courageous” soul: “How Mademoiselle Reisz would have laughed, perhaps sneered, if she knew! “And you call yourself an artist! What pretensions, Madame! The artist must possess the courageous soul that dares and defies.”” (pg. 176) In quoting M. Reisz, Edna seems to feel that by going into the ocean, her soul is finally daring and defiant (as described by Mademoiselle Reisz), and she is dying a death suitable for an artist. This appeals to the yearning every woman undergoes in her formative years, a desire to be more than they are, to spread the wings society has ruthlessly clipped with its demands and expectations.

The desire for an identity separate from the family nuclei is an issue many women struggle with, especially young first-time mothers. These desires were muted if at all existent back in the time “The Awakening” was written, but instead we find Edna having very real, independent, and even selfish thoughts about what she’d be willing to sacrifice. In chapter XVI she boldly states, “I would give up the unessential; I would give my money, I would give my life for my children; but I wouldn’t give myself. I can’t make it more clear, it’s only something which I am beginning to comprehend, which is revealing itself to me.” (pg.97)

As a reader, we are presented with an Edna who understands the separation between motherhood and womanhood. She would give her life, her existence for her children, but she would not compromise her identity for them, meaning she would not lose her essence for the sake of others – not her children and certainly not her society. Breaking through the role appointed to her by society, Edna discovers her own identity independent of her husband and children, culminating in her release through death. She is throughout presented as a complex and emotionally dynamic character meant to both warn and inspire women through time. Many of Kate Chopin’s other stories feature passionate, unconventional female protagonists, but none presents a heroine as openly rebellious as Edna. In the end, Edna adhered to her philosophy of freedom, something not many women, both of her time and ours, have had the courage to pursue.

The Awakening: Edna Pontellier Character Essay

Reflection on Jack Hodgins ”By the River” Essay

Reflection on Jack Hodgins ”By the River” Essay.

In the story of By the River, the author relates the love story between the young woman, Crystal Styan, and her husband, Jim Styan, in the terms of faith, responsibility and dream. After reading this story, I wonder that why Jim chose to leave and why Crystal still believed he will come back, even though she realized that her dream of the life with him would not come true.

When Crystal was in grade ten, she gave up the opportunity of studying further and chose to live a wonderful and idyllic life with Jim.

After they moved to the log cabin which sits on the edge of river, they began to build a farm. Since Jim was lack of farming knowledge and had no any experience before, six chickens were frozen to death in the cold winter and the cow that he has just bought stepped off the train and ran away.

He eventually abandoned his house and wife irresponsibly and left on the train after he cannot accept the fact that the dream of becoming famer will not come true. In contrast, Crystal always believed his husband and tried her best to help Jim realize his dream, even though sometimes she understood the decision that living with Jim was wrong. Crystal has always loved Jim so that she trusted her husband will be on the way home one day and came to the station to wait him for the past six month. But all are delusional and impossible, her husband will never return on the train, because the conductor told her that he was not on board.

In conclusion, this kind of woman, Crystal, is frankly pathetic because her husband ruthlessly abandoned and left her without any words, while Jim is certainly looked down upon by others, because he is self-concern and irresponsible for their love and relationship.

Reflection on Jack Hodgins ”By the River” Essay

Wife and Bath vs Modern Day Women Essay

Wife and Bath vs Modern Day Women Essay.

Times have changed, and so have the way woman behave and live their lifestyle. Although some characteristics and good deeds have been brought down from ancient times, many traits are still similar from modern woman and the old fashion woman. Many people believe that because of the time gap there must be a huge generation hole between modernized woman and the woman from medieval times. In reality women have stayed close to their power and standings with men.

The Wife of Bath woman is similar to modern day women mostly in terms of being self independent, they do not care about what others think, or the fact that in order to live they must be dependent of someone.

The Wife of Bath tale shows us a good visual of what a modern woman wants.

The modern woman and a woman in the medieval times are similar in many ways. Most people would not think this because of how much has changed in other aspects of life, but in reality, all women have held true to their power and standings with men. The Wife of Bath woman is similar to the modern woman mostly in the way that they do not care what others think of them. The tale gives us a good explanation of what a modern woman wants. Although the majority ways of The Wife of Bath woman and the modern woman are similar, there are other criteria’s where they differ. The modern woman and The Wife give off a reputation that can sometimes defeat typical stereotypes. The similarities between a woman now, and The Wife of Bath woman will result in ways that show us how stereotypes fall short when it comes to symbolizing a woman and how time does not always revolve.

The Wife of Bath woman was married five different times to five different men. All of the divorces were her choice because she allowed influences to come between her marriages. Although this is not something to boast upon, the modern woman today will most likely marry multiple times too. She will let abominable qualities get in the way just as The Wife did. The divorce rate is rapidly increasing due to manipulation, affairs, greed, dominance, and other negative influences. According to Enrichment Journal on the divorce rates in America, the rate of divorce for first marriages is 41%. This is only one comparison of how a modern woman and The Wife are similar. If people took marriage more serious, things like this would not be an issue to compare.

The modern woman and The Wife are more similar then different, but there are ways the two contrast. The Wife of Bath Woman married her first husband at the age of 12. The modern woman today waits longer to marry. During the medieval times, marriage at such a young age was common. Although not everyone believed in this behavior, www.medieval-weddings.net stated that more than 3/4 of females were married before they reached the age of 19. Now, the modern woman is not legal to marry until she is 16 years old and only with a guardian consent. If a woman wanted to marry at the age of 12 now days, it would be completely unacceptable. It is not even a topic to cross one’s mind to marry so young. This clearly shows one difference that is rather broad of The Wife of Bath woman and the modern woman.

The Wife did not exactly believe in chaste, which is similar to the modern woman. Sexual pleasure is used to manipulate men both then and now. No matter how many people frown upon this, sexual freedom is becoming an open and liberal topic. The Wife believed in giving men what they desire; just as women now are slowly taking this into consideration. The modern woman and The Wife are manipulative to controlling their husbands through sex and trickery. Women use their determination, wits, and sexual charm to get their way. In both the modern woman and The Wife of Bath woman, women do not have to pretend to be submissive. Chastity is becoming less inferior of an issue because women are becoming comfortable with their sexuality and what they strive for.

Some things shouldn’t be accepted as vigorous as they are, but society has adapted to these ways over a long period of time. The similarities between The Wife and the modern woman are prime examples to show us that the difference of reputations of women have not changed as much as other things have. No matter what someone holds a women to, she will speak her mind and show what she is confident in. This holds true to both The Wife and the modern woman. While some people agree that females have dominance over men, the effect The Wife desires is to bring men and women to be egalitarian. Whether we are comparing or contrasting The Wife of Bath woman and the modern woman, women can overcome the customs they are held to.

Wife and Bath vs Modern Day Women Essay

Trifles by Susan Glaspell Essay

Trifles by Susan Glaspell Essay.

Trfles’ By Susan Glaspell I believe had several small defining moments leading to the one larger defining moment, which brings together all of them together. The defining moment is the discovery of the dead bird hidden in the pretty red box, this leads back to smaller points such as her sewing and the bird cage. “ Here’s some red. I expect this has got sewing things in it. (Brings out a fancy box.) What a pretty box. Looks like something somebody would give you.

Maybe her scissors are in here. (Opens box. Suddenly puts her hand to her nose.) Why—(Mrs. Peters bends nearer, then turns her face away.) There’s something wrapped up in this piece of silk.” “It’s the bird” ” (Glaspell, 2011, p. 144), I believe that the two main characters in this play are Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters, the sheriff’s wife. At first is seems they are part of the background story, that they are there but not part of the main action.

When the ladies first sit down in the kitchen they are uneasy about being there and how the situation is making them uncomfortable. They feel as if they are judging Mrs. Wright about her house and the way things are.

As the ladies discuss her situation they begin to speculate on her guilt. Initially they don’t consider Mrs. Wright as having the personality or ability to commit the crime she has been arrested for. However, as the story continues, signs begin emerging that point to the possibility of her guilt, yet they still are in disbelief. When the author introduces the quilting, it is easy to assume a mental picture of a woman under stress using it to calm her. Once the ladies find the bird cage, at first consideration, as certainly the author intended, is “what happened to the bird? Did a cat get it? Did it get ill? What could have happened?” Then, given new information about the door to the cage is broken, as if someone yanked it open. It still could have been a cat trying to get at the bird, but then Mrs. Wright didn’t like cats, so that possibility is out. The ladies begin discussing Mr. Wright and how he was a hard man to be around. Here the author begins to give readers more background story of the couple, and plants seeds for reasons to take sides with Mrs. Wright.

They describe him as a good man in the way that he didn’t drink and paid his debts but was a hard man to be around, and how she was different before she became Mrs. Wright. Comparing her to a songbird, how she liked to sing and be involved in town things like church, giving her a likeable personality prior to her marriage. As they talk and pass time they are looking for her sewing things to take her so she can pass the time, they discover a pretty red box in with her quilting patches. Thinking it is a box for her scissors, they instead find the dead bird. Not just dead but someone has wrung its neck, a violent end to a tiny life. Mrs. Hale knows that Mrs. Wright was going to bury the bird in the pretty box and begins to think about the bird and how the bird would have kept her company and the beauty of its singing. Their thoughts turn to Mr. Wright and how he would have hated the birds’ singing because he killed Mrs. Wright’s singing.

Mrs. Peters recounts a story of when she was a child and had a cat that was killed in front of her and how it could have, would have, hurt the person that killed her cat. At this point both ladies begin to understand a little more of what happened in the house and why. What do they do though, the men are looking for evidence. Mrs. Peters says “It was an awful thing was done in this house that night, Mrs. Hale. Killing a man while he slept, slipping a rope around his neck that choked the life out of him” (Glaspell, 2011, p. 145), and as she says this Mrs. Hale compares the similarities between the bird and Mr. Wright’s deaths. Mrs. Peters reiterates that they don’t know who killed Mr. Wright. As the women sit and talk they begin to think about what it would have been like for Mrs. Wright to have that little bird to sing to her and then have silence again.

Mrs. Peters relates to Mrs. Wright’s situation by sharing her story of having lost a child before, knowing the silence or sadness that comes with a loss like that. Mrs. Hale begins to blame herself for not being a better friend and seeing what was going on, And how she could have been a better neighbor she might have been able to change things. Knowing that they should be blaming themselves for what happened there. Mrs. Peter’s comments on what the men would think if they could hear them getting carried away with a dead canary the way they are and how absurd they must sound. But would they find it as absurd as they think or would it be the evidence they are looking for?

As the men come back downstairs Mrs. Hale decides to try and hide the dead bird but it won’t fit in her pocket, at the last second Mrs. Peters puts it in her purse and hides it from the sheriff and attorney that enter the room. With this action, readers are lead to believe that the women have decided that Mrs. Wright in fact did kill her husband while he slept, and that they sympathize with her. Perhaps they haven’t been in the same situation but in a way they empathize with her hopelessness and sadness, and stand unified to protect her. It is interesting that the women find evidence in the case as where the men are looking and can’t seem to come up with anything, to serve as a motive. Another example of how women were perceived in this story is how instead of asking the opinion of the women or if they found anything all they ask is if the women decided if she was going to quilt-it or knot-it. “Well, ladies, have you decided whether she was going to quilt it or knot it?” (Glaspell, 2011, p. 144)

Glaspell, S. (2011). Trifles. In D.L. Pike and A.M. Acosta (Eds.) Literature: A world of writing stories, poems, plays, and essays [VitalSource digital version] (pp. 139-145). Boston, MA: Pearson Learning Solutions. Acosta, David L. Pike and Ana (). Literature: A World of Writing Stories, Poems, Plays, and Essays VitalSource eBook for Education Management Corporation [1] (VitalSource Bookshelf), Retrieved from http://digitalbookshelf.southuniversity.edu/books/9780558711825/S1.4/54

Trifles by Susan Glaspell Essay

In my day by Russell Baker Essay

In my day by Russell Baker Essay.

Russell Baker, talks about his old and ailing mother in “In My Day”. With her growing age grew her senility, and she behaved like a young child on some days, while she invited her son to her funeral some other days. The author’s main purpose is to unravel the human emotions and highlighting some of the shortcomings we have as humans. He speaks both in subjective and objective terms as he tells of how we all have a habit of bringing to the forefront our past lives, but not realizing that the person who is addressed has no connection with it and is totally indifferent towards it.

The stream of thought becomes more subjective when he presents his realizations after meeting his mother and wished to respect his past when he says, “These hopeless end-of-the-line visits with my mother made me wish I had not thrown off my own past so carelessly.”

The dominant impression is formed with care as he presents the details of the mental state her mother is in and the reader is glum upon identifying that.

The description of his mother’s character is again done in a beautiful manner and we get a clear idea of the power she exudes as a woman, he calls her a “formidable woman”. The sensory descriptions are especially notable in “In My Day”, when Russell has given descriptions such as “view of hazy blue Virginia Mountains behind the apple orchard”, “a doll with huge, fierce eyes” and more such descriptions of the past incidents. These techniques combined together make this piece interesting and captivating for the readers.

In my day by Russell Baker Essay

The Inhabited Woman Essay

The Inhabited Woman Essay.

La Mujer Habitada (The Inhabited Woman), a semi-autobiographical novel of Gioconda Belli. The novel, which was published in 1998 foster much attention. The novel dealt with the Sandinistas struggle for liberation as well as her native Nicaraguan feminist effort to be recognized and achieved equal rights in a patriarchal society (Salgado 235).

“The Inhabited Woman grabs us from two unexpected directions: its consciousness of the centrality of woman in struggle, and its retrieval of the cycles of birth and rebirth which are such an important part of indigenous cosmology (Randall 6).

” The novel also dealt with gender issue in Nicaraguan revolutionary narratives. To Timothy Richards, this is a narrative of female struggle in society, “through a progressively more comprehensive involvement in her society, [the protagonist] learns to distinguish the true from the false in her and the world around her” (Belli 209).

Lavinia, who is an upper class woman, also carries out her own feminist struggle by refusing to get married. She chooses her independency over her lover.

Lavinia, believed that marriage, would mean placing limitations to one’s self—unless, the right man would came along (Belli 22). She begun to accept and embraces the principles of the movement.

Her being an oligarch is quite apparent in her conversation with her childhood friends Sara and her husband Andrian as well as her parents. The main character of the story, also wanted to proved her worth as a person – her struggle to proved her knowledge will be eventually unravel in the story – she as an architect strive to prove her self worth and received a lot of merits.  In the field where men always dominate – Lavinia proved them wrong. She, despite the adversities in life in the long run succeeded in the field where men dominate, which implicates the gender and/or feminist struggle of the novel.

Similar with Lavinia, Gioconda also proved their worth as a person – her choice to be involve in the movement is in itself a worth proving decision. Leaving the life of luxury and offering life in the service of the people is a tough and firm decision to make. Putting your life to danger in exchange of serving the oppressed and underprivileged people. The rampant oppressions, which she herself is an eye-witness, inflame the nationalistic spirit in her.

As the novel continues, the parallelism between the main character, Lavinia and the writer herself is being introduced gradually. Both were raised in an upper class family, had a good educational background and were raised in a society suffering from political and economic turmoil. Both were also living a life of luxury and extravagance. But both women, decided not to be indifferent about the current political situation of the country. They both were determined to struggle the rights of the underprivileged, less fortunate and oppressed majority. Belli, met someone from the movement whom she got intimately involved while Lavinia met Adrian her husband before she met Felipe, whom introduced her to the ideology of the movement.

Lavinia and Belli were involved in the movement at time when both were still at a young age. Their young age did not get into the way of their involvement in the movement. In fact, during those times they were envisioning their society to be more kind among its people. Their realization to this inspires them to get into a more cause oriented and more meaningful engagement in society. The formal years were quite a struggle for both, since they were raised in a well to do family. But as the novel continues Lavinia found herself to being involved in the revolutionary movement while on the part of Belli, she recognizes that these oppressions must end. In order to end the suffering and oppression of the people, one has to get involved and make a difference.

In substantiating the above claim, Belli and Lavinia, the main character of the novel, were raised in a conservative and protective family. Belli, decided to join the Sandinista movement because of her belief that oppression and suffering under the Somoza regime must come to and end. She became deeply involved in the movement and later on played a significant role. Belli became the courier of the movement during the height of the oppression. And because of her deep involvement in the Sandinista movement, she exiled in Mexico in 1975.

In 1979, the overthrow the Somoza regime, Belli continued her involvement in the movement and she took several important posts. In 1982, she became the FSLN (Frente Sandinista de la Liberación Nacional) liaison officer. Then in 1984, she became the director of State Communications and was responsible in organizing major literacy programs and projects.

Just like the novel, during the 1970, Managua is experiencing a political and social turmoil. The Inhabited Woman is based on an episode of Nicaraguan experience, where oppression and injustices are rampant. This is where the novel took off its narrative. All the events if not all that was reflected in the novel were all inspired in the current political and society’s situation (March 53).

As for Lavinia, her lover Felipe, became instrumental to her involvement in the revolutionary movement. The movement intends to overthrow the current military dictatorship governing the whole country.  Notice that both Lavinia and Gioconda were influenced by their lovers to be involved in their respective revolutionary struggle.

Both struggled wanting achieve national liberation and recognizing equal rights of the people (March 83). Gioconda was recruited in the revolution by the Camilo Ortega, but the one who really inspired was the one whom she called ‘the poet.’ Belli felt that she could transform her life and empower herself as a citizen and as a person, this realization allowed her to break from her marriage. A marriage where she was quite unhappy. It was a combination of things that led her to defy convention and have that affair with the ‘Poet’ (Salgado 237).

It was also the time of the sexual liberation. People were talking about open marriages. It was all those things combined. She emphasized that her my political stance was never determined by the men she was with. Belli had her own ideas and convictions. She exemplifies her admiration with the ‘Poet’ because Belli believed that he opened doors for her not only in terms of getting to know the Nicaraguan history better as well as everything that was going on in Latin American literature. The ‘poet’ had imprinted a great influenced to her, as an individual and a writer.

Take note that, Felipe had also been influential to Lavinia’s social awareness – their frequent conversation which led to her deep involvement in the revolution is exemplifies in this manner. Under the protection of the tree, the young protagonist and Felipe discuss the revolution and the role of women in it. And, it is during these discussions that Lavinia’s social consciousness is awakened (March 235).

In the novel, Lavinia, the main character often goes to a secluded part where her grandfather stays. She returns to her home when she needed time to think and to get away from the crowded and strident sound which the city brings. Like Gioconda, she often remembered her country where she was raised by her family – where she was educated and she became socially conscious about the current situation of her country. She oftentimes, felt that longingness and going back to where she really belonged. Noticed the following narration of the writer:

It was a clear day. The landscape disrobed at her feet, devoid of fog. The tiny houses, the lake, the row of blue volcanoes, were spread out in the distance, silent, motionless, majestic. Up closer, the vegetation in the mountains unfolded in green toward the valley where the city lay.

Twisted tree trunks hung dangerously over the edge. [… J This landscape was hers, her idea of homeland; this is what she dreamed of when she found herself on the other side of the ocean. This landscape made the most outlandish dreams of the Movement understandable. This land sang to her flesh and blood, to her sense of being a woman in love, rebelling against opulence and misery. […] This land deserved a better fate. (Belli 348-49)

The narration above depicts the idealized and post-revolutionary Faguas which was Lavinia is fighting for – where wealth and misery is not a problem anymore. Belli, dreamt of it in her life. In fact he fought for it, she envision a country with no repressive army, freedom and democratic responsibilities.

During the height of the dictatorship, Belli handled few accounts that had to do with businesses with Somoza regime. And because of that she was able to extract documents, which later on she provided to the Sandinista movement. The character of Lavinia in the novel also worked with the ruling regime. Thus, substantiate the parallelism between the two, Belli and Lavinia. As much as Lavinia hated the military leaders she had no choice but to work with them. She had to meet and had conversations with people from the government, whom actually she despised. Belli, on the other hand had also experience that of Lavinia’s sentiments in the novel. Belli, actually had to go to different embassies and talk to people whom she don’t like that much.

As far as their revolutionary experience is concerned, both women continued to contribute to the success of the movement. Belli, played an important role in the Sandinistas Movement same as Lavinia when she become involved in the revolutionary movement. She dedicated her life in the struggle to eradicate oppression and injustices. And she even forsakes her life to realize that goal.

Lavinia during the height of her consciousness held various educational discussions among several groups to raise their consciousness. Also the discussion between Itza and the main character Lavinia reveals this claim. Belli, on the other also organized group discussions among citizens of Nicaragua to rouse their consciousness as to what is happening in their society. And to encourage them to stand for their rights and liberate themselves from the oppressive ruler of their country.

The Inhabited Woman Essay