The portrayal of badly treated women in literature

Elizabethan Literature The theme of misogyny and superiority of men was the typical genre that authors took within their writing. Women were not looked to as a person but were considered a mere necessity for the procreation process. Women continued to be split between the ideal of the Virgin Mary, and her fallible counterpart, Eve.

The portrayal of badly treated women in literature

Cultural and political events during these centuries increased attention to women's issues such as education reform, and by the end of the eighteenth century, women were increasingly able to speak out against injustices.

Though modern feminism was nonexistent, many women expressed themselves and exposed the conditions that they faced, albeit often indirectly, using a variety of subversive and creative methods.

The social structure of sixteenth century Europe allowed women limited opportunities for involvement; they served largely as managers of their households. Women were expected to focus on practical domestic pursuits and activities that encouraged the betterment of their families, and more particularly, their husbands.

The portrayal of badly treated women in literature

In most cases education for women was not advocated—it was thought to be detrimental to the traditional female virtues of innocence and morality. Women who spoke out against the patriarchal system of gender roles, or any injustice, ran the risk of being exiled from their communities, or worse; vocal unmarried women in particular were the targets of witch-hunts.

Anne Hutchinson, who challenged the authority of Puritan clergy, was excommunicated for her outspoken views and controversial actions. Anne Askew, a well-educated, out-spoken English Protestant, was tried for heresy in ; her denial of transubstantiation was grounds for her imprisonment.

The portrayal of badly treated women in literature

She was eventually burned at the stake for her refusal to incriminate other Protestant court ladies. Elizabeth I ascended to the throne ina woman who contradicted many of the gender roles of the age.

She was well educated, having studied a variety of subjects including mathematics, foreign language, politics, and history. Elizabeth was an outspoken but widely respected leader, known for her oratory skills as well as her patronage of the arts.

Despite the advent of the age of print, the literacy rate during this period remained low, though the Bible became more readily available to the lower classes. Religious study, though restricted to "personal introspection," was considered an acceptable pursuit for women, and provided them with another context within which they could communicate their individual ideas and sentiments.

In addition to religious material, women of this period often expressed themselves through the ostensibly private forms of letters and autobiographies. The seventeenth century was not an era of drastic changes in the status or conditions of women.

Women continued to play a significant, though not acknowledged, role in economic and political structures through their primarily domestic activities.

They often acted as counselors in the home, "tempering" their husbands' words and actions. Though not directly involved in politics, women's roles within the family and local community allowed them to influence the political system. Women were discouraged from directly expressing political views counter to their husbands' or to broadly condemn established systems; nevertheless, many women were able to make public their private views through the veil of personal, religious writings.

Again, women who challenged societal norms and prejudices risked their lives—Mary Dyer was hanged for repeatedly challenging the Massachusetts law that banished Quakers from the colony. Though their influence was often denigrated, women participated in various community activities.

For example, women were full members of English guilds; guild records include references to "brethern and sistern" and "freemen and freewomen. Mary Rowlandson's captivity narrative, published inis a famous narrative written ostensibly for personal use that was made public and became a popular success.

The eighteenth century brought the beginning of the British cultural revolution. With the increasing power of the middle class and an expansion in consumerism, women's roles began to evolve. The economic changes brought by the new middle class provided women with the opportunity to be more directly involved in commerce.

Lower-to middle-class women often assisted their husbands in work outside the home. It was still thought unseemly for a lady to be knowledgeable of business so, though some class distinctions were blurring, the upper class was able to distinguish themselves from the rest of society.

The rise in consumerism allowed the gentry to place a greater emphasis on changing fashion and "display," further distancing them from the middleclass. With the advent of changes in rules of fashion and acceptable mores within society, some women established a literary niche writing etiquette guides.

Also due to the cultural revolution, mounting literacy rates among the lower classes caused an increase in publishing, including the rise of the periodical.

Men and women of all classes found new means to express ideas in the wider publishing community. Though women's writing during this period continued largely to be an extension of domesticity, and focused mainly on pragmatic, practical issues, women found a wider market for publication.

Introduction

The act of professional writing, however, was still considered "vulgar" among the aristocracy. Significant colonial expansion during this period provided would-be writers with unique subject matter—letters written by women abroad discussed foreign issues and culture, and offered a detailed view of far-off lands.running head: media portrayal of the feminist movement 6 was not until the s and s that the nomenclature of waves appeared, and the result was that the time of women’s suffrage in the early s was categorized as first-.

Men and women are typically stereotyped and portrayed differently by the media. Evaluate ways in which negative consequences of this could be reduced. Mass media, such as advertising, news industries and entertainment, usually portrays men and women with stereotypes, in which women and girls are likely to be placed in disadvantaged .

Literature has witnessed the roles of women evolving through ages, but until recent times, most of the published writers were men and the portrayal of women in literature was without doubt biased. Rossetti’s use of nature defines the context in which women and men are divided, and why it is bad to integrate the two.

Tennyson’s poem uses nature imagery to describe the Lady’s position in society. Over the years, “literature has allowed its readers a glimpse of what societal expectations, including towards gender, [were] like during the time of the literary work” (“Females”).

Purpose: To explore the portrayal of women in America and England through novels written by women and published between the 19th and 21st century.

Women in gothic literature are depicted and treated differently in different periods of the gothic genre. Their roles are also subverted at times to achieve certain aims of the gothic novels. Basically, women are often placed in the bad light of society where they may either be weak or corrupted and treated badly by male characters.

Victorian Women in Literature | Jaymi Elford