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Feminist Critical Theory

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Trilby Lawless

on 14 February 2011

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Transcript of Feminist Critical Theory

Feminist Critical Theory The Great Gatsby Quotes Explained "All right. I'm glad it's a girl. And I hope she'll be a fool-that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool" (Fitzgerlad 21) "Dishonesty in a women is a thing you never blame deeply" (Fitzgerald 63)
"The trouble is that sometimes she gets foolish ideas imn her head and doesn't know what she's doing" (Fitzgerald 138) Feminism and Literature The ultimate goal is to increase the understanding of women's expierence and promote appreciation of women's value in the world. Requires reading "against the grain" of the texts intention.
-most patriarchal literature is unconcious to the sexist ideology it promotes. Questions Feminist Critics Ask about Literary Texts... 1. How are women protrayed? How does this relate to the time period?
2. How do other cultural factors intersect with gender to effect female characters?
factors of race or class
3. How has the work's reputation been affected by patriarchy? Important to rememeber: different feminist critics will focus on different feminist comcepts leading to different interpretations. This is implying that lying is in women 's nature Also implies that women are naturaly flawed This quote undermines the independence Daisy has to choose who she wants to be with. Tom dismisses Daisy's ability and desire to leave him as 'a foolish idea,' as if what she has to say it doesnt matter Daisy is saying this about her child. She is saying that in 'this world' the only way to live and thrive in it is to be ignorant of it The Great Gatsby Seen through a Feminist Lens. The Great Gatsby embodied the social changes of the 1920’s
-During the 20’s, women had more freedom politically and socially. They were able to wear more revealing clothes, including shorter skirts and in 1920, gained the right to vote. The Great Gatsby undermines these freedoms by negatively characterizing all the female characters.
Daisy, Jordan, and Myrtle are all portrayed as dishonest, manipulative, and flawed. Even though the characters don’t fit the typical stereotype of ‘housewife,’ they still undermine the value of women Daisy: Is spoiled, shallow, a brat, and is a killer. Her biggest flaw is that she let Gatsby take the blame for the hit and run that killed Myrtle even though she doesnt care about him Jordan: Is a cheater, careless, and self-centered She was caught cheating during a golf tournament which implies something about the nature of women Myrtle: Possibly the most hated of the three. She is loud, shallow, and obnoxious. She cheats on her husband, like Daisy. EXCEPT she doesnt have the excuse of loveless marraige, like Daisy. Work Cited Tyson, Lois. Critical Theory Today. New York: Garland Publishing, 1999. Print. Summary of Feminism Women are oppressed politcally, economically, socially and psychologically.
Women are marginalized to men, they are the other.
Society has a patriarchal ideology and divides women into "good" and "bad" girls.
Sex (male or female) is determined by biology; gener (masculine of feminine) is determined by culture.
Goal of feminism is to promote gender equality.
Gender issues play a part in every aspect of human production and experience.


One issue feminists have evaluated is the usage of the pronoun he to refer to members of both sexes and believe that it “perpetuates the ‘habit of seeing’”. The habit of seeing is described as a way of looking at life that uses male experience as the standard by which the experience of both sexes is evaluated. Feminists think the he ignores women’s experiences and blind’s the reader of the women’s point of view. In literature, the male point of view used to be the “standard of universality” or the experience of all readers. However, now, feminist point of view is now common and appreciated greatly. Also, in modern medicine, some drugs are only tested on male subjects. As a result of this, women could experience unexpected side-effects while males are safe. Often, many “newbies” to the study of feminism believe that they are not feminists ahead of time because they don’t share the same point of view as many feminists. Many “reduce feminism to its most objectionable element and have rejected it.” It is the “oversimplified” view of feminism. Feminist Criticism is a type of literary criticism that results from feminist theory. Feminist theory is a basis of many things including gender roles in terms of Freudian psychoanalysis, and deconstruction of the relations of power. It examines the ways in which literature reinforce or undermine the economic, political, social, and psychological oppression of women.
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