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Woman of Rebellion

Women of Rebellious nature; The female fight for non- complience

Alexa Williams

on 21 April 2010

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Transcript of Woman of Rebellion

Women of Rebellious Nature:
The Female Fight for Non-complience

By: Alexa Williams Women of rebellious nature, have been influencing literature since the beginning of time. Often female characters of the past have been created to serve as symbols for the changes taking place within societies, over many different periods of time. Women have stood for generations as supporters for the dashing of social norms, the condemnation of expected behavior, and the fight against sexist accusations which are to often accepted. Authors have changed political, philosophical, and intellectual ideas, through the creation of great literature and often by leading lives of rebellion themselves. *** Modern day women are faced with the same problems as women of the past, and as ideas can be learned from these real life and literary characters, women of all times are woven together in a fight for non-compliance both socially and internally.

Sensuality and Sexual Awarness

The Other Bolyen Girl
By: Philipa Gregory

Mary) - Forced to go to bed with the king, as a way to move the family higher in society

- Used for her body, because she was a girl, she had little say in her privalages regarding marriage and sexual encounters

Anne)- Used wit and seduction to harness both mind and desire of the king

- Just as she seductively climbed her way into the kings bed, she cunningly climbed her way to hierarchical power

Applied to Modern Day

Women today are caught between two different aspects of feminine identity.

-The striving for the ability to allure sexually

-the balance of not being seen as a sexual object.

The Blood of Flowers
By: Anita Amirrezvani

“ If your virgin daughter pleases Fereydoon, he may keep her indefinitely. Each time he renews, he will pay the agreed-upon sum. If she is lucky the alliance may make your fortune”

-little opportunity to rebel against social constraints, due to the fact that she living in a period of time that was precarious for a women without family or fortune

- The rebellious nature of her character is more internal than physical, yet it can still be a model for the modern day women. After a time of sexual activity, and being at the disposal of a man, she realizes that her true value lays within her other passions of life.

-Her rebellious example is more of a realization that she as a woman has only the worth which she sees in herself.

Society Confinement

-One of the largest barriers from freedom, women have had to face. When social norms are accepted, certain people are disabled from making personal decisions as well as reaching for individual goals.

Having to choose personal desires, over the pressure from others to strive for riches or status.

Sarah Dunant’s The Birth of Venus

-Allesandra the young female character is very interested in art and literature, which is known as sport for men. This was a dangerous ordeal for her family because as a female, her only job was to find a man, and marry well.

" Men live, women wait"

Applied To Modern Day

- Women are taught to compete for the wealthiest men in order to gain social standing and money, in a very similar fashion as the girls in the book did. Even today fortune and status drive girls to go through extreme efforts in order to be a mans pick for life.


- women have always had the assumed jobs of cooking, cleaning, and having healthy children to bare the husbands name The Red Tent
By: Anita Diamant

Four sisters Married to the same man. Forced to compete for attention. Expected to have a son.

“ But just as Leah’s belly began to swell against her tunic, Rachel started to bleed. She woke the whole camp with her mournful cries, and as they rushed to her side the found her sobbing wrapped in a bloody blanket”

- This sadness of losing a child came not only from a mother feeling sorrow, but it was magnified by the pressures these women felt from their husband and family members. To bare a healthy son was the most notable thing a female could do, and to fail at this was misery.

Rebellion from Duties

- The concept here is not that women despise cooking food or having kids, but that when forced to carry out these duties it is overbearing.

-It is not solely the things women wish to do which makes equality important, but also just having the rights to do them

CNN Article By: Rebbeca Leung

" After years of fighting for equal opportunity in the work world and striving to match men in economic success, there is a fifteen percent increase on women who are choosing now to be stay at home moms".

Modern Women...

The modern women should understand that because of the rebellion of women in our past, as well as the pieces of literature which have promoted change, women today can more easily strive to break free from constraints, exercising the ability to rebel physically and internally.

Relationships Between Woman

Mothers and Daughters

- Mothers in stories often are the ones with life wisdom and experience. Often authors will portray a motherly figure who has seen and felt the pains and hardships of the world.

- In this case the mother serves as an example of rebellion
- In some books the daughter will experience tremendous friction in the relationship, evoking the desire to live opposite of the mother Friends

Negative aspects

- Relationships between women are often threatened because the pull of competition is so strong.

- "But now that fate has thrown us together in a peculiar way, can’t you and I both be his wives, and raise our children together?’ Naheed laughed out loud. ‘I should have known not to befriend a girl like you. A respectable married woman like me does not associate with someone who sells sex for silver."

- Two friends are forced to turn from one another in order to cator to the pull of society and survive the harsh realities.


Positive aspects

- In the Birth of Venus Allesandra
is forced to stay in her house, limiting her from painting. Her servant Erila is also her best friend therefore she sneaks out to bring her supplies.

- This friendship is also symbolic of the condomnation of social norms

-Erila is not merely fetching paint, but she is fostering the dream of her friend in order to allow her to continue her passions. Both girls are encouraging rebellion by breaking the rules of authority as well as society. This idea is very important, because without the strength of women as a unit, no progress could have been made.
Old to Young

- Passing ideas from one generation to the next allowing rebellion to grow.

The Blood of Flowers
“I bend my head low before your knowledge,’ I said to the charm maker. She smiled. ‘When you are as old as I am, you will know just as much and probably more,’ she replied."

-Just as the old woman passed advice to the young girl, so can literature pass ideas to the modern woman.


- Bonded not only by relasionship, but also by blood.
- Sisters are torn between competition, love, and jealousy.

The other Bolyen Girl- "I was born to be your rival," she said simply. "And you mine. "We’re sisters, aren’t we?"

Pride and Predjudice By: Jane Austen

- The bond between the sisters is very deep, and they help eachother to defeat the social norms, which try to hinder them from achieving rebellion.

Happily Ever After

-Through trial and tribulations women work to achieve personal success and progress. A well lived life has a different meaning for every person, and a “happily ever after” does not mean the same for any two people.

-The end of a woman’s life is often indication of the values they found along their path of life. Often authors end their literature in a way that portrays either symbols of their own personal life, or things they have learned while writing the book. Birth of Venus Ending

-Alessandra marries a sodimite, has an affair with a mysterious painter, and gives birth to an illegitimate child.

- Her life was one of imense pain, and in her last days she commits suicide while serving as a nun. This being her final act of rebellion.

Modern Woman

- The modern woman reading this book may not be able to relate entirely with this situation. Yet every woman can relate with wanting to leave affect on something they felt passionate about. Often rebellion is the way to achieve this. To look at the end of a woman’s life is a clear view of what this fight may have entailed. Though It may not be painting, every woman has their own battle worth living for, and even dying for. Blood of Flowers Ending

- Sometimes rebellion is accidental, merely the outcome of dodging problems.

“All my life the tales I have been told ended in marriage between a wealthy, generous prince and a beautiful, troubled woman who is rescued and folded into his life”

“ Remember, you are no longer troubled. You have made your self valuable-even more valuable than you were as a virgin. There’s no reason why you can’t tell your own tale”

Her virginity was something she was forced to give up. Yet her pride as a woman was something she chose to embrace. This in and of itself is rebellion because she denied the common standards in order to make due with what she had. The Red Tent

- Dinah the main character experiences many hardships such as her husband being murdered, her son being taken away, and being treated disrespectfully for being a foreigner and a woman.

-" I should have been defeated by grief. I should have been exhausted past seeing. But hatred has stiffened my spine."

-Women will always experience suffering and unfairness, yet as literature makes so clear, this can be used positively to help drive accomplishment. Conclusion

The problems women meet will never be fully annexed from our lives. In order to let rebellion continue to live on the modern society, women must continue to question the reasons for things. Just as in literature, women must ponder sexuality and question men’s expectations. Women must seek to understand social norms and strive to live for self fulfillment. Females must bond as a unit ignoring society which teaches a lifestyle of competition. We must look at the lives and deaths of women, and question the paths they took in order to learn from them. We must desire to lead lives of physical and internal rebellion using literature as a guide to doing so.
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