StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

Femininity in Victorian Literature - Book Report/Review Example

Nobody downloaded yet

Extract of sample
Femininity in Victorian Literature

If Shaw is unconsciously exploring issues dear to feminism, then Rhys is psycho-sexually and politically discussing its impact today. George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion" first appeared in 1912. It was first performed in 1913; and was published in 1916. It's a comedy that dramatizes the social arrangements (institutions or languages) that enforce relations of power between man and woman.
Shaw's play was originally based on the classical legend from Ovid's "Metamorphoses" about Pygmalion, who falls in love with his own sculpture, Galatea. In the myth, Venus/Aphrodite gives life to the statue signifying Liza, who of course fails to live up to her standard of a "statue" (performance, silence and as per the instructions of patriarchal "linguistic" ideologies). First she's shown to be a poor, illiterate flower girl, with an accent that wouldn't allow her to achieve a better position. Higgins's profession is ironically suitable in getting the function quite clear: he is the male tutor, who must intervene within the chaotic but free realm of Liza's consciousness and make her a "real" woman through the performatory acts that must naturally define her gender. He usurps the position of the "logos"2 and marginalizes Liza through discipline and punishment the fate that must constitute her race.

Jean Rhys' "Wide Sargasso Sea" let's the "Other"3 mingles into voices of proletariat, feminist, colonized and the hybrid cultural crisis within his Caribbean novel, where problems of identity are interrelated beyond the obvious faade of society or politics. The psychological split of the colonized or that of the "subject" beyond the intelligible demands of language and discourse defines the absence that marks the book. Bertha Mason fails once again. Rhys re-invents Bronte's misrepresentation of Creole women and the West Indies and thus Antoinette's feelings of displacement and complete subjugation and her attempts at freedom appear typically as 'madness' in the eyes of the colonizer (male), since his discourse only labels the dominated colonized people (feminized in their docile submission and silence) and their "primitive" or "savage" actions as uncivilized. Antoinette's subjugation through the marriage first comes when it becomes negotiated completely by the men in both side of the family. Rochester's father and brother, Antoinette's stepfather and, subsequently, her stepbrother, Richard Mason all orchestrates Antoinette's marriage and eventually Rochester's experiences with her sense of freedom at Granbois, begins to symbolize his lack of power as expected of Victorian man, where he sees Antoinette as an "alien". Rochester's decision to re-name Antoinette (as Bertha) becomes significant as he attempts to construct Antoinette to the Victorian and the Empire's masculine demands so as to establish a gendered, social "hegemony"4 between them. He finally manages to silence her by physically displacing her, denying her sexual pleasure and denying her identity. At this point in the novel, Rochester's role as colonizer and Antoinette's as colonized within the marriage are fully realized. Rochester, in the position of power, has successfully taken possession of Antoinette's wealth, property and identity. Antoinette is usurped from her own ...Show more


Subversion of Victorian stereotypes may have given rise to the New Woman also sought to silence her within the maddening attic of isolation and disrepute. Bertha Mason, the popular postmodern figure of Feminist criticism from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte finds an entire counter narrative dedicated to her in Jean Rhys' postcolonial metanarrative, "Wide Sargasso Sea" - a pastiche that explores issues of gender, race and identity within the framework of deconstruction of 'White, Male Western Discourse'…
Author : gorczanyalexand
Femininity in Victorian Literature essay example
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the book report/review on your topic
"Femininity in Victorian Literature"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Check these samples - they also fit your topic

Christina Rossettis Goblin Market
Rossetti had a bleak childhood due to her family's financial difficulties, which forced her to continue her schooling at home. During this time, Rossetti's family became actively involved in the religious devotion of the Church of England, which was the reason behind her preference for writing devotional poetry.
7 pages (1750 words) Book Report/Review
Victorian Gender Relations
Indeed, as Wilson explains in The World of Charles Dickens, Victorian society had much the same expectations of women as it did of children; both were expected to be seen but not heard (109-110). Interestingly, however, both Dickens' Great Expectations and Austen's Pride and Prejudice, portray female characters and protagonist who violate this expectation (109-110).
8 pages (2000 words) Book Report/Review
Women Representation in Victorian Era Literature
Rejecting the repressive moral and aesthetic values of the Victorian era, writers began re-examining the institution of marriage and the traditional relations between the sexes in their novels. This re-examination, particularly by women writers, saw the emergence of new genres of women's fiction - women's 'sensation' novel of the 1860s and the 'new woman' novel of the 1890s - as well as the emergence of a 'new' kind of woman in literature and society, challenging the Victorian social ideals and perceptions of femininity.
6 pages (1500 words) Book Report/Review
Geder Inequality in Victorian Period
Why women are regarded like this and why these consequences come and what is the effect are described here. 2. Historically, numbers of women complainants in rape trials have been regarded with suspicion or prejudice, their credibility as witnesses seriously regarded with less importance.
4 pages (1000 words) Book Report/Review
Victorian Society
When it came to morality and sexual matters, Victorian society was as prudish as the earlier medieval British societies. The social structure of Victorian society was like any other ancient society, evolving and trying hard to hesitatingly attain modern views, but not going further.
12 pages (3000 words) Book Report/Review
John Robert Lee has been a poet who never compromises with lyricism of personal Christian confession and ritualised testimony and his poetry demonstrates great flexibility of subject, register and style. "There might be an expectation that 'straight-out' poetic endorsement of Christian values and existential tenets might be on the decline in a secularising and syncretising Caribbean, but individual voices show that this is not the case: of a generation younger than Walcott, fellow-St.
2 pages (500 words) Book Report/Review
The influence f Lacan in the perspectives f feminists marks a move away from 'the real world' towards comparatively abstract philosophical analysis f culture and specifically towards the symbolic - cultural meaning encoded in language. (Beasley, C (1999).
6 pages (1500 words) Book Report/Review
Domestic Ideology in Henry James Daisy Miller
Daisy Miller may be called at the same time humorous yet tragic; the storyline that follows a young woman's journey from adolescence and naivete ultimately defines her demise. All this, caused by man's-therefore, society's-disapproval of her unconventional ways.
5 pages (1250 words) Book Report/Review
Victorian Era Poets
The placement of reason-driven social and career pursuits as the arena of men and the home or the domestic as that of women during the Victorian era, resulted in very conflicted notions of sex and sexuality. While the best of what the era's take on the power of love, whether sublime or tragic could be gleaned at least from Elizabeth Barret-Browning's Sonnets (passionate and sublime love of a woman) and Alfred Lord Tennyson's Lady of Shalot (where the poet's tone is all at once, objective, sympathetic and in awe of women's domestic lot) --- the conflict is evident in Aurora Leigh and Locksley Hall.
4 pages (1000 words) Book Report/Review
Femininity and consumption
The uniqueness in femininity is that in most cases, the term suffices only when oppression or the fight for the recognition of women is the subject. In this case, however, Breward presents a more
4 pages (1000 words) Book Report/Review
Hire a pro to write
a paper under your requirements!
Win a special DISCOUNT!
Put in your e-mail and click the button with your lucky finger
Your email
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment