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Gender Literary Analysis

by Iyanna and Helen ^____^
by Helen Wrenn on 16 October 2012

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Transcript of Gender Literary Analysis

Gender Literary Criticism Definition: This type of literary criticism "examines how sexual identity influences the creation and reception of literary works.” A modern day definition would be: This type of literary criticism is how the writer's gender and sexuality influences his/her works, and how their works are understood by the reader. Example of a gender literary criticism: In the "Scarlet Letter", Hester is looked down upon and punished for expressing her sexuality. However, no real effort is made to punish her partner in crime, i.e. the man she committed adultery with. Through this we can see how Hester's society is very misogynistic and views females are the lesser counterpart of males. The history behind gender literary criticism: Gender literary criticism generally, though not always, is done from a feminist point of view. This type of literary analysis was formed as a response to male dominated literary works and often attempts to show how many women depicted in literature fall victim to the cult of domesticity. As stated, not all forms of gender criticism are from a feminist point of view! A poet named Robert Bly is one of the advocates of a "masculinist" criticism in gender analysis, not just feminist. People who analyze from this point of view would focus on the struggles of males in literature. Example: In the "Scarlet Letter", Hester's husband, "Robert Chillingworth", is faced with an excruciating internal struggle. He arrives in Salem to find his wife has been unfaithful. Inside, his is racked with guilt. He feels as though he is partially to blame because he left his wife alone for so long. However, he also feels the need for vengeance. Robert then makes it his mission to reveal the hidden identity of Hester's partner in adultery. These events show the male's struggle in society to live a stable life and acceptable life. Robert, if his own identity of Hester's husband is reveal, will also risk his own good name thanks to the sins of his unfaithful life.
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