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Gender Criticism

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Liv Allen

on 19 October 2012

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Transcript of Gender Criticism

Gender Criticism Formal Definition: "Gender Criticism examines the influence of gender on the way literature is written and read. Some gender critics look at works by men or women to see what approaches in these works, including language use, portrayal of characters and plots, and use of images and symbols, are essentially female or male."- AP English 12--Langdahl 'Current Day' Translation: A gender criticism interprets how an author's gender influences their writing. It can reflect the author's beliefs about masculinity/feminism or how the author feels about the opposite gender. Historical Information: During the 1950-1960s era, several women's rights movements began. Some of these movements included Women's Sufferage and the formation of the National Organization for Women. Works Sited: What is a gender criticism?
The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. "Feminist Criticism (1960s-present)." Purdue OWL: Literary Theory and Schools of Criticism. The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University, 1995. Web. 14 Oct. 2012. <http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/722/11/>.
AP: Gender Criticism Essay. "AP English 12--Langdahl: Gender Criticism Essay." Parkrose Online Course Support. Moodle, 27 Aug. 2012. Web. 16 Oct. 2012. <http://parkrose.orvsd.org/mod/resource/view.php?id=8880>.
Dickenson, Emily. "I Felt a Funeral, in My Brain (280)." PoemHunter.com. PoemHunter.Com, 20 Jan. 2003. Web. 17 Oct. 2012. <http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/i-felt-a-funeral-in-my-brain-280/>.
Frank, Christina, Erica Hoffrichter, Melissa Moody, Melissa Walls, and Ann Wilke. "Feminist Criticism and Dickinson's Poem 280." Final Group Web Project. Professor Albert Rouzie, Winter 2000. Web. 18 Oct. 2012. <http://www-as.phy.ohiou.edu/~rouzie/307j/critgroup/feminist.html>. Simone de Beauvoir Elaine Showalter Writers such as Simone de Beauvoir and Elaine Showalter began to write their personal opinions on the movements and their views on feminism. Their work created the base of the dissemination of feminist theories. Because of this, Beauvoir and Snowalter's writings created the concept of a gender criticism. What does that mean? When was gender criticism created? How do you write a gender criticism? Personal Example: Washington Irving’s classic tale “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is a story filled with adventure, horror, and surprisingly romance. One of the story’s main plotlines deals with the main character, Ichabod Crane, vying for the hand of Katrina Van Tassel, a girl from a wealthy family. However, Katrina is very popular and there are many other suitors who are competing for her. Through this plotline, the reader understands that Irving views women as trophies who are expected to be beautiful and won by strong men.
One of the main reasons Ichabod wants to marry Katrina is because she is beautiful. Irving writes, “She was a booming lass of fresh eighteen; plump as a partridge, ripe and melting and rosy cheeked as one of her father’s peaches, and universally famed, not merely for her beauty, but for her vast expectations. She was withal a little of a coquette.” Ichabod knows almost nothing about Katrina’s personality and is basing his opinion of her completely from her looks and the gossip of others. This description shows that Irving probably perceives women the same as his character does.
I felt a Funeral, in my Brain (280)
by Emily Dickinson "And when they all were seated,
A Service, like a Drum--
Kept beating--beating--till I thought
My Mind was going numb--

And then I heard them lift a Box
And creak across my Soul
With those same Boots of Lead, again,
Then Space--began to toll"
"In Emily Dickinson's poem 280, the speaker feels trapped, specifically shoved into a coffin, by her inability to adjust to a male-dominated society. She moans of the demand to become a part of this society and the aggressive tactics to draw her within, such as in "Kept treading--treading--till it seemed/ That Sense was breaking through" (ll. 3-4) and "A Service, like a Drum-- / Kept beating--beating--till I thought/ My Mind was going numb" (ll. 6-8). She begins to realize how limited her options are at this point ("Then Space-began to toll," l. 12.) and to see herself as less than those around her because she is trapped in this coffin and her senses are deprived: "As all the Heavens were a Bell,/ And Being, but an Ear" (ll. 13-14). She cannot become a full member of society and be who she craves to be, she must choose this forfeiture and her decided path or choose to be a part of the community and give up her ideals. It is only when she lets go of herself and submits to this insanity ("a Plank in Reason, broke," l. 17) that she is able to re-enter the world as a member of society."

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