Feminist critics analyze the role of gender in works of liturature. It grew out of the women's movement that followed after World War 2. feminist critics have recovered works by women authors creating a canon. For example in 'Into the Forest' by Jean Hegland, the main character, Katie, gets raped. this portarys women as victims and weak people, a feminist critic would argue that the portrayal of this girl is degrading towards women because it does not depict women as equals towards men. This approach is useful in understanding the different ways that women are shown in different times of literature.
Spurting from the women’s movement after World War II, feminist critics investigate how a piece of literature is influenced by the gender of the author. Harriet Beecher Stowe’s famous novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin would undergo one purpose of feminist critics, gynocriticism, as it was written by a female. For example, when Tom he is sold to a slave trader, he remains very calm and collective, yet his wife Chloe is in great distress and has a face full of tears and rage. A feminist critic may argue that this example portrays women as weak, and unable to cope mentally with difficult events as well as men are able to. If the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin was male, feminist critics could say that the author was sexist in using stereotypes throughout this scene. I could use this theory as it may help in identifying how women may be portrayed differently depending on the sex of the author.
Feminist criticism is an approach to analyzing literature that focuses on the role of gender. Leading critic Elaine Show states there are two purposes of feminist criticism: the analysis of works by male authors, especially in the depiction of women's writing, and gynocriticism- which is the study of women's writing. The Epic of Gilgamesh is one of the earliest pieces of literature ever written, and the status of women was vastly different in 2000 B.C than it is today.In the epic, the only female character, a prostitute, is sent by King Gilgamesh out into the wilds to 'tame' a particularely annoying wildman who was terrorizing and devouring the kingdom's livestock. Sure enough, she is able to seduce the man, and after having sex for six days and six nights, the man becomes civilized and no longer acts like a wild beast. The story portrays women as mere objects; items that are only useful for mens enjoyment. Feminist critics would consider this a very degrading portrayel, as it is, while examining the status of women in the time period. I would not use this approach, examining the role of gender can often play an important part in a literary criticism, but it is not something that should be solely focused on.
The feminist approach deals with the strong gender roles present in literature, and how they affect the story. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, the story is set in the 1930s. Young Scout is a girl dealing with social prejudices, and learning to assert herself academically and politically. For example, she and her father choose to back up a black man in a court case, which was frowned upon at the time. Women have been portrayed differently throughout history in literature, and using this approach allows one to better understand the time period, and the author's motivations.
The feminist approach is a type of sociological criticism that essentially studies the role of gender in works of literature. It believes that society is patriarchal and this favouritism of men is revealed in many works of literature. Consequently, it looks to examine, and reexamine literary works from a female perspective, hoping to promote gender equality and women’s rights. This literary approach can be applied to the novel The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare. In the novel, Portia and Jessica were confined to the expected roles for women at the time and so were seen as inferior and as objects for possession. Portia in particular was forced to disguise herself as a male thereby allowing her to appear in a courtroom to help defend Antonio. This approach of literary analysis is very important for a number of reasons, and so should be used when analyzing works of literature. It helps women gain equality in society and in literature, it is vital promoting and discovering women’s writing, it showcases the strengths of women, and it promotes change by exposing stereotypes.
The feminist approach is a literary criticism method that refers to the role of genders, and how they have an impact on the story. In the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde Sibyl Vane commits suicide after being broken up with by Dorian. This portrays woman as weak and emotional. It shows that Sibyl was very oversensitive and was quick to commit suicide. A feminist critic could argue that this does not represent women well, and that it shows that they are not equal to a man. Using this method can help us understand how women were treated differently in different time periods, and relate it to how they are treated today.
Feminist Criticism developed during the women’s movement following WWII. It analyzes gender roles within literature, focusing on gender stereotypes. The two main roles of Feminist Criticism are to analyze the works of male authors in relation to female characters, and to analyze women’s writing. Many of these critics have been responsible for recovering the names of female authors who wrote under a male pen name. The goal of Feminist Criticism is to promote gender equality and the powerful and respectful nature that women can have. These critics may examine works such as The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, which constricts its female characters into powerless stereotypes. Tom, Daisy’s boyfriend, exerts physical strength over her and Myrtle to subdue them and display his power over them. These women stay with him, an abusive cheater, which implies that this treatment of women is acceptable. Daisy is seen as the “temptress” within the novel, and the downfall of many through their obsession over her classic, unwitting charm. The women within the novel are always seen lounging and gossiping in the sun while the men are the ones who have careers and manage money. This implies that women are not smart or ambitious enough to go forth into the business world. However, there are elements within the novel that support feminism. Jordan is an athletic, self-spoken female, with a non-gender specific name. This strengthens feminine roles and capabilities within society. However, it can also indicate that a woman must have masculine traits to be accepted as equal. I would use this theory to analyze literature because it helps the reader understand the social structure of gender roles at specific times and areas within history.
Feminist Approach is a theory under Sociological Criticism, and analyzes the role of gender in literature. One main reason that many critics do this is to analyze the writing of men when they try to depict the life of women. Other critics will analyze literature this way is to study women’s writing in general. Women are typically stereotyped in books according this approach, and men are more dominant compared to the women. In the movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs based on a fairy tale by the Grimm Brothers, Snow White and the Queen are both stereotypical women. Snow White is young, innocent, and naïve girl who requires to help of men to keep her alive. The 7 dwarfs help to keep her alive and safe, and when the evil Queen poisons Snow White the prince is the one who must save her. The Queen is a wicked, jealous, and proudly beautiful woman. The Queen is Snow White’s stepmother; this creates another stereotype that stepmothers are terrible people. I believe that this approach is easy to use, but does not have many other values except for that. I think it’s a very biased way to criticise work by authors.
Feminist approach is literary criticism informed by feminist theory. In the book The Great Gatsby by F.Scot Fitzgerald the author uses Tom to show feminist actions towards Daisy and Myrtle by exerting physical harm on them. Myrtle gets punches in the face and Daisy has a bruise on her neck. Tom is aggressive with them because he is a feminist that does not respect women. Also the women stay at home and do nothing for help, this is showing that women are not good to do anything they stay at home an d relax while the men work. These feminist approaches show how women want all their needs to come to them by doing no work. this nook states the feminist approach very well.
Feminist literary criticism is the critical analysis of literary works based on the feminist perspective. Feminist critics approach literature in a way that empowers the female point-of-view instead, typically rejecting the patriarchal language that has dominated literature. In William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, he presents the conflicting character of Lady Macbeth. Upon receiving her husband’s letter about the witches’ prophesies, she attempts to be like a man in order to exude the strength needed to gain additional social status as royalty. Lady Macbeth appears to be very influential in planning – deciding when and how they should kill King Duncan – and chiding her husband for not acting more like a man; yet, despite these capabilities, she is the main reason for the revealing of the Macbeth’s part in the usurpation of the throne. Since I understand the male perspective far greater than that of the female, I would not use this approach to analyze literature.
After World War Two a women’s movements sparked and along came Feminist Criticism. This genre of criticism analyzes the role of gender in literature. An example of such a gender view can be seen in the novel The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. In the novel Susie is a young teenage girl who is abducted and raped. Because she is female, and portrayed as helpless there is a strong female accusation. This book may lead the readers to sympathize for women and their disadvantages. The feminist method of analysis is beneficial to critic and view women in a different light as well as, accepting or understanding their lives. It would allow analysis of female roles in novels but limits analysis to only that. To get a full understanding of a novel or of a literacy piece, I would choose a method that allows for more content analysis.
Feminist criticism came into play after the events of World War 2. Women, who had been thrust into labour jobs during the war, got a taste of what is really was like to be a working class women. After returning to their normal housewife duties, they realized they wanted to be treated as equals, a right they totally deserved. Feminist critics analyze literature from a female point of view. Whether it is totally analyzing female authors and writers or just the female aspects of a book. Feminist critics have also been known for recovering long lost works of literature written by a woman. In the older days, female writers were not as respected as the male author, which was completely sexist, so they took on a fake identity to publish their works. In the play The Merchant of Venice, the main female character was displayed as a prize. The man who could choose the right chest would win her as a bride. Much against her will, this was this case. This was how society went about marriages quite often, but a very discriminative thing to do. Women were not treated fairly in this case. In my opinion, Feminist criticism is quite effective. It is an eye opener when analyzing older literature.
Feminist approach examines work by and about women. It has evolved into gender criticism which addresses issues of masculinity/femininity as binaries, sexual orientation, hetereosexism, and differences in sexes. Both are political activities concerned with fair representation and treatment of people. This approach can be applied to Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities. In the passage where Lucy Manette is a witness in the trial of Charles Darnay she gives, perhaps unwillingly, strong evidence that could lead to Charles' death. Despite this Charles Darnay still cares for her, this can be argued that the reason behind this is that Lucy Manette is an attractive woman thus recieving this treatment. This approach can be useful in analyzing literature and is definately worth mentioning however I would not depend on it as a sole literary approach.
Feminist Criticism, which evaluates and responds to gender roles within literature, is applicable to works of male authors. This is known as a feminist critique. In the play “A Streetcar Named Desire”, by Tennessee Williams, a feminist critique comes quite easily. Blanche Dubois, the work’s protagonist, is continually expressed as being fragile. She lives in a world of illusions, denying her age, her past, and her alcoholism; she is visibly decaying in front of her roommates. Blanche’s last hope for renewal is her relationship with Mitch. A feminist might be frustrated with Blanche for her belief that a romantic partner can fix her broken life. Similarly, Blanche’s sister, Stella, is self-destructively in love with Stanley Kowalski (her husband) to the point that she endures his violent behaviour and insults. This example of submission to a male abuser is exactly what feminists advocate against. Lastly, Stanley’s abrasive manner and need to dominate women do not speak kindly to the male gender. His act of adultery through his rape of Blanche is the nail in the coffin for his character. A feminist might argue that Williams’ portrayals of women are degrading, however, through Stanley, Williams has depicted both the male AND female genders in a negative light. I would use feminist criticism in order to gain a new perspective on a work, and see what messages the characters send about the male and female genders.
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