Literary study regarding women’s misery

Literary study regarding women’s misery

“A literature of their own” by Elaine Showalter exactly illustrates how the literature before the Victorian age differs from the modern age and the research also sketches the whole picture of the role of women in this aspect. Whole the research is laid down by her in three simple and seemingly broken down way, as she explains the very first way as by the name “Feminine”, which extends to the time interval 1840 to 1880, as it ends with the sad demise of one of the key feminine souls of the feminine body, George Eliot. The second one being the “Feminist”, which extends from 1880 to 1920, and it goes like beginning from Eliot’s death and ending at the successful achievement of women in the vote movement they started. And it came to an end in the 1960’s with the new level of confidence in female soul which started prevailing in 1920 and with the fierce name of the “Females” by Showalter. (Showalter, 1977, p.17)

She takes a care of the other subcultures while studying these, her self created, levels of women’s sufferings and struggle. She also discusses the aspect of the Dark (Black people) and the oppressed feminine souls in patronizing cultures. The reason behind the astonishing solidarity in the character of a woman even being a hell emotional and a lot self obsessed is “a distributed and much discreet and ritualized actual physical meet… the female sex-related life-cycle” (Showalter, 1977). Feminist writers have always written keeping in view this common aspect, and they have influenced a lot on the minds of readers of all time by their themes. This makes women a whole body which share same issues and have same problem which make them unite, and off course, when a unity comes in formation, it makes its functions, aims, objections and perhaps, some oppositions. In this case the main opposition which is formed automatically and without any conscious effort is the patriarchal leadership and patronizing system of governing a society.

Literature never forms without getting an influence from the reality of life. It first develops in the streets of the nation and slowly comes to the official level entering into the mini screen of the culture. Then it develops in the literature slowly when the literary figures of the nation starts using it in an informal way of expressing their character’s feelings in an effective way. The process of replica of the syntax is followed by this process immediately. This is called the “internalization of replica’s requirements of art and its opinions on community tasks” in literary perspective (Showalter, 1977). The Role of female soul in this literary evolution is mandatory and major as feminine soul is known for its self-obsession, firm grasp and the ability, or in some cases disadvantageous property of getting easily influenced. Some of the feminist roles responsible for this big revolution are Bronte’s, Elizabeth Gaskell, Elizabeth Browning, MartineauEliot, and  Nightingale. The later batch of the same school consists of Charlotte Yonge, Dinah Crack, Margret Oliphant, and Elizabeth Lynn Linton.

With the development of literary Feminism the activists of the nations gained a boost and started their activities on a larger scale. They also expressed their desire of living a leading life of men and starting the protest of getting their rights silently. They named it “Protest while Obedience” according to Showalter. The fact that during the Victorian age the women of the novel writing industry did a lot to secure their place in the community and form a parallel community which functions as the masculine souls, and they were also, to an extent, successful in their aim, as the Victorian age in literary perspective is commonly known for the works of feminine feminists, but still, this could not change the fact of women being disabled of writing metaphorically sensible novels and creating other such pieces of literature (Showalter, 1977). According to some critics, this was their way of getting freedom from the bitter fact of them being the property of the patriarchal authority of the Victorian supremacy, but according to the point of view of the researcher, this statement becomes a lot oppressive and racist as the women are directly hit in this critique.

The next topic which comes on the board of discussion is Showalter’s second division or level 2 of the issue, namely “Feminine Opposition”. Eyelash out against the conventional requirements and principles, strenuous their privileges and sovereignty be acknowledged. In this Feminist level, feminist literature had different perspectives of assault. Some women had written community commentaries, converting their own sufferings to those of the inadequate, the working class, slaves, and hookers, thereby air flow their feeling of disfavor in a right style. They extended their area of effect by making inroads into community work. In an absolutely different route, the 1870s feeling books of Mary BraedonRhoda Broughton, and Marryat, explored truly extreme female demonstration against wedding and women’s financial oppression, although still in the structure of feminine conferences that required the erring heroine’s devastation (Showalter 1977). Their golden-haired doll-like paradigms of womanhood concept contemporary goals of Angels in the House by switching out to be mad bigamist and would-be murderess.

Militant suffragists also had written prolifically during this demonstration level of literature. Females such as Sarah Grand, George Egerton, Mona Caird, Elizabeth Robins, and Olive Schreiner made “fiction the automobile for a dramatization of offended womanhood… demand[ing] changes in the community and governmental techniques that would allow women men privileges and need chastity and constancy from men” (Showalter, 1977). On the, Showalter discovers these women’s documents not illustrations of excellent literature. Their tasks worried themselves more with a concept than the making of art, though their denial of male-imposed descriptions and self-imposed oppression started out the gates for development of female identification, feminist concept, and the feminine visual.

The third interval, then, is acknowledged by a self-discovery and some independence “from some of reliance of opposition” (Showalter, 1977) as a method for self-definition. Some authors end up switching in during the following search for identification. In the beginning 50 percent of Females level of composing, it carried… the doubled history of feminine self-hatred and feminist drawback… [Turning] more and more toward a separatist literature of inner area (Showalter, 1977). Dorothy RichardsonKatherine Mansfield, and Virginia Woolf proved helpful towards a female visual, increasing libido to a world-polarizing perseverance. Moreover, the feminine experience and its innovative ways organized mystic significance — both transcendental and self-destructive weaknesses.

They applied the social research of the feminists [before them] to terms, phrases, and components of terminology in the story (Showalter, 1977).

 However, Showalter criticizes their performance for their and orgiastic natures. For all its issue with sex-related descriptions and libido, the composing prevents real get in touch with the body, disengaging from people into “A Room of One’s Own.

This modified when the feminine novel joined a new level in the 1960s. With 20th Century Freudian and Marxist research and two hundreds of years of female custom, authors such as Iris Murdoch, Muriel Spark, Doris Lessing, Margaret Drabble, A.S. Bayt, and Beryl Bainbridge accessibility women’s encounter-rs. Using formerly taboo terminology and circumstances, “anger and libido are approved… as resources of female innovative power” (Showalter, 1977).

Showalter’s research reveals how development of women’s composing achieved this level and conveys all the disputes and battles still impacting the existing of women’s literature.

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  • Showalter, Elaine. A literature of their own: British women novelists from Brontë to Lessing. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1977.

Patriarchy and its Discourse

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Patriarchy and its Discourse

Early feminists of Victorian age revolted against patriarchal language but post structuralist feminists did not just focused upon suffrage movement but the developed the issue and rebel against the male dominance. Iragery (1998) views that patriarchal discourses are based upon power and political determinism. The same politics and power developing discursive femininities through language is differently cited and viewed by Julia Kristina, (Strangers to ourselves, 1989), Gayatri Spivak (On other worlds, 1995), Catharine Clemet’s (Opera,1998 undoing of women).

SUBJECTIVITY AND BEASLEY’S VIEW

Beasely also views that women are considered as pet creature to men. They have to work the household and to develop the children instead of the professionals like doctor and architecture. The fiction must play role to construct subjectivity about women. The term subject and subjectivity refers that meaning in text are never fixed. It is the reader that construct it .the research aims to investigate the patriarchal effects created in the text developed by Ibsen in “A Doll’s House”.

MILLS DISCOURSE

Sara Mills views that the women. about its importance  feminism over the writings of founded through travel writings that was not earlier developed femininities within society. Female writers of Victorian age and post modern age have visible subject matter differences in literary works (Morris, 1979: 23). She analyses the women travel writers theme of discourses. Though all their works are Hetrogenitic and complex phenomenon. Constraints in writings have been used by female writers (Hulme 1986, O Porter 1982).

Victorian age is considered that few feminist writers emerged at the surface due to the patriarchal oppression. Colonial discourses and Victorian literature finds less similarities due to cross cultural impact and text (Worley, 1986: 40). Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Hulman and Mary Louise used objectivity, escapism and  especially individuality is key subject that is contradictory to literature of female writers of 19th century. Imperialism represented the real picture of the British women.

Foucault’s work on power and language ‘he believes that power is economy (Focault, 1992a: 109). He further says that speech acts of text and discourses represent reality by organizing them and finding the fluidity and unspoken elements of discourses. He concludes the ambiguity in women writings using the language as authority and power.

 The surface and deeper level analysis predicts the facts as “Hermeneutic” analysis says that there is no text, the thing is interpretation.

“Power is convinced as sort of grand,absolute subject… who attributes what is forbidden on the side on which power is suffered. There is an equal tendency to ‘subjective’ it, by determining the point at which the acceptance of the indirect occurs, the point at which one says ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to power” (Foucault in Morris and Patton, 1979: 54).

Mills finds out the failure of critics in finding out the Gender identity and lack of perceptions. She concentrate on short texts and represent the discourse analysis of feminist perspective. She argues that women writers should frame different types of discourses. The key types are Confessional discourse and Feminine discourse. Confess is there to adhere the reality and admit the daily facts that are not confessed by writers. The second one she stats that represents the femininity and heterosexuality. She pictures the representation in famous book “Feminist Stylistics”1995. She clearly concludes that writing style of women is different than male writer. She believes that foregrounding in texts makes it different. In representation of text gender is necessary element .the speech acts; language of discourse is actually reflection of the writer’s gender identity.

CLASSICAL VS MODERN PATRIARCHY  

It is an agreed fact by research and scholars that women is always taken as the subordinate and inhabitant creature. Women has been represented by weak and negative characters since the origin of the English literature.

“BEOWOLF”  and other ancient vernaculars shows the dominance and authoritative value of male being the patriarchal society. On the other hand the famous writers like Shakespeare represents female in comedies and tragedies “King Lear, Twelfth Night” in same boat, G.B Shaw in Major Barbra and ‘The Arms and the Men’, Ibsen in ‘A Doll’s House while in poetry John Donne in “A Faerie Queen” and Chaucer’s character “A Wife of Bath” represented the women in their patriarchal ideological sense. As far the modern dramatists concern we see after the third wave of feminism women is quite different in gender role. O Neil’s drama “Juno & Paycock” is one of the senile representation of women as domesticated animal in male dominated society.

The stereotypical role of men and women is beautifully depicted by Virginia Woolf in (Women and fiction, 1998). She argues that our fathers are distinctive that made law but what about our mothers that just a tradition.

             “One was beautiful, one was red haired, one was kissed by a queen, we know nothing of them except  their names and dates of their marriages and number of children they bore” (Woolf in Women and Fiction, 1998).

 It is described by different feminists that sex is biological category while gender is social construct (Weedon 1987 & Millet 1997). Modern male writers presents the role of the female in society in real sense as Henrik Ibsen points out the gender role of ‘NORA’ in ‘A Doll’s House’. The terms got popular in 1960 by Lakoff’s article “Language and Women place”, he argues that both sex are different in talk and all is result of male supremacy. Judith believes that modern feminists committed a mistake by talking female common in character and objectives (Gender Trouble 1990).

Patriarchy & Discourse