Position of Women

catherinecoffey2
Mind Map by , created over 6 years ago

English Lit Mind Map on Position of Women, created by catherinecoffey2 on 05/15/2013.

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catherinecoffey2
Created by catherinecoffey2 over 6 years ago
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Position of Women
1 Hard Times - Dickens
1.1 LOUISA + BOUNDERBY - views of marriage
1.1.1 Marriage seen as a business transaction - carried out between a father and husband: "You have given me to the husband whom I am now sure that I hate."
1.1.2 Emotions and actually love have very little to do with marriage: "fanciful, fantastic or ... sentimental." (treated as synonymous)
1.2 SISSY
1.2.1 Illustrates the caring compassionate nature of the ideal Victorian woman
1.2.1.1 "I used to read to him to cheer his courage."
1.2.1.2 "I found her here taking care of you and cooling your head."
1.2.2 Association with light imagery symbolises her goodness
1.2.2.1 'the once deserted girl shone like a beautiful light upon the darkness of the other.' (similie)
1.2.2.2 'she seemed to receive a deeper and more lustrous colour from the sun' (the sun exposes good things in Sissy in contrast to Bitzer - she is connected with the sun's warm, nurturing rays)
1.3 RACHEL
1.3.1 Association with religion
1.3.1.1 "Thou art an angel. Bless thee, bless thee."
1.3.1.2 'as if she had a glory shining round her head.'
1.3.1.3 She allows Stephen to recognise the better part of his moral character - acts as his guiding star
1.3.2 Altruistic + self-sacrificing (embodies the 'angel of the home')
1.3.2.1 'The creature struggled and seized her by the hair.'
1.3.2.2 "Tomorrow's work is harder for thee than for me."
1.4 MRS GRADGRIND
1.4.1 Irony that she isn't as wise as her huband
1.4.1.1 'invariable stunned by some weighty piece of fact tumbling on her'
1.4.1.2 'Mrs Gradgrind's stock of facts in general was woefully deficient .'
1.4.2 Representing women recognising the truth: "There is something ... that your father has missed or forgotten."
1.5 BOUNDERBY'S MOTHER - MRS PEGLER
1.5.1 Represents traditional view of women as self-sacrificing and loving
1.5.1.1 Even calls Bounderby "my dear boy."
1.5.1.2 "never thought it hardship on themselves to pinch a bit that he might right and cipher beautiful."
2 'A Doll's House' - Ibsen
2.1 MARRIAGE - not Christian ideal but another institution making women second-class citizens
2.1.1 "don't want, don't want - ? Aren't I your husband?
2.1.2 "I passed from papa's hands into yours"
2.1.3 Torvald talks about forgiveness making Nora his "property in a double sense."
2.1.4 "millions of women have done it' - women expected to sacrifice everything for their husbands
2.2 Women have to perform for their husbands - Nora's performance mirrored by the Christmas tree: decorates it when she needs to conceal her anxiety but when she has been stripped of her facade it stands 'stripped and dishevelled'
2.3 Women have no control within a relationship - all action takes place in one room (Nora's prison) + Torvald's control symbolised by doors and letter box (only he has the key)
2.4 The way women are protected by society actually limits them
2.4.1 "I have broad wings to shield you"
2.4.2 "I've been your doll-wife just as I was papa's doll child."
2.4.3 "Our home has never been anything but a playroom" - women not educated sufficiently by society to be good mothers
2.4.4 Torvald's pet-names dehumanise Nora: "squirrel" "skylark" "hunted dove" (prey animals)
2.5 Christine presented as a role-model for Nora
2.5.1 "suppose two ship-wrecked souls could join hands?" - ideal relationship is one of equality
2.5.2 "I must work if I'm to find life worth living" (imperative shows importance)
3 Shirley - Charlotte Bronte
3.1 Strong women admired
3.1.1 Shirley compared to: "a lioness" "sister of the spotted, bright, quick, fiery leopard" "her fine eye had the look of a merlin''s"
3.1.2 Emotion shown as a strength rather than feminine weakness: Shirley's heart described as 'like a shrine for it was holy, like snow for it was pure, like a flame for it was warm, like death for it was strong.'
3.1.3 Distinction made between 'women' and 'angels': "Shirley is not an angel, she is a woman and she shall live with men."
3.1.3.1 "I worship her perfections but it is her faults that nestle her to my heart."
3.1.4 "Rid me of you instantly - instantly!" (Shirley challenges patriarchal institutions - gives orders to a man of the church)
3.1.5 BUT purity praised too: Louise refers to Shirley as a "stainless virgin."
3.1.6 Acknowledgement of women having an independent mind: "suppose she had possessed a thoughtful, original mind ... would you have left her to court another woman for her wealth?"
3.1.7 Power seen as the priviledge of men: Helstone refers to Shirley as "Mr Keeldar" and "Captain Keeldar"
3.1.8 Caroline wants to work: "I long to have something absorbing and compulsory to fill my head and hands."
3.1.9 "Men ... fancy women's minds something like those of children. Now that is a mistake."
3.2 MARRIAGE
3.2.1 Shirley places importance of equality in marriage
3.2.1.1 "I do not ask you to take off my shoulders all the cares and duties of property; but I do ask you to share the burden"
3.2.1.2 Criticises Moore for treating marriage as a business transaction rather than an act of love: "You spoke like a brigand who demanded my purse, rather than a lover who asked my heart."
3.2.2 Importance of male role as a protector acknowledged (within reason)
3.2.2.1 "I have tamed his lioness and I am her keeper." (women like Shirley need protecting from themselves)
3.2.2.2 "A tyrant would not hold me for a day ... I would rebel ... break from him ... defy him."
3.2.3 Not always the Christian ideal
3.2.3.1 "I had too recently crawled from under the yoke of a fine gentleman - escaped, galled, crushed, paralysed, dying."
3.2.3.2 Insufficient laws to protect women in marriage: "They were powerless as a rotten bulrush to protect me."
3.2.4 Sypmson sees marriage as an opportunity to hand over responability of a woman: 'he anxiously desired to see his niece married ... to give her in charge to a proper husband and wash his hands of her forever.'
3.2.5 Acknowledgment that marriage means a certain loss of freedom: 'Thus vanquished and restricted , she pined'
3.2.6 Remaining a spinster can be preferable: "In the sight of her maker, Mary Ann Ainley ... is fairer and better than either of you."
3.2.7 Shirley: "before I marry, I am resolved to esteem - to admire - to love."
3.3 MOTHERHOOD
3.3.1 Presented as the ideal: 'the natural affection of her child came over her suavely: her frost fell away ... she grew smiling and pliant.'
3.4 Women meant to take pride in the feminine sphere: "its brilliant cleanliness and perfect neatness are so much to your credit."
3.5 Sypmson represents misogynistic attitudes: "too much freedom for your years and sex."
4 'Lady Windemere's Fan' - Wilde
4.1 Men and women judged with different principles
4.1.1 Women outcast by having an affair: Mrs Erlynne refered to as "That woman." But seen as normal/acceptable for men: "this little aberration of Windemere's" " Just take him abroad."
4.1.1.1 This position as an outcast what leads her to blackmail Lord W: "there is no depth of degradation I will not sink to."
4.1.2 It's the woman who pays the price of her husband having an affair: "You don't feel anything. I feel stained, utterly stained."
4.2 The man who holds the power in the relationship - Lady Windemere has to cut into the bookto find out the truth.
4.3 MARRIAGE
4.3.1 Deceit is an integral part of marriage: Lord and Lady Windemere are reunited in the final act but they are both concealing secrets (Lord W= identity of Mrs E, Lady W=plans to elope with Lord Darlington)
4.3.1.1 Irony - it would have been better for Lady W to think that her husband was having an affair than to realise Mrs E was her mother (preferable to maintain the stainless image of her mother)
4.4 Challenge to society's views of the 'fallen woman' - we see Lady W's views change from "women who have committed what the world calls a fault should never be forgiven" to calling Mrs E "a very good woman."
4.5 MOTHERHOOD
4.5.1 Lady W persuaded to return home when Mrs E tells her "your place is with your child" BUT in contrast Mrs E declares she has "no ambition to play the part of a mother" as maternal feelings "made me suffer too much."
4.5.1.1 Mrs E's decision makes her a female version of Lord Darlington - same behaviour not acceptable for men and women

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