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The Story of Women

ISU Presentation

Alisha Kay

on 11 January 2013

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Transcript of The Story of Women

Just like Princess Aurora, it hints about the symbolism created through the roles of Queens and Princesses. Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire Tadeusz Rozewicz's The Story of Old Women Sophocles' Oedipus The King Shakespeare's Hamlet Lynn Coady's The Antagonist In Lynn Coady's The Antagonist, the main character, Rank questions the truth in his life when his close friend, Adam publishes a book based on Rank's life. Rank is unable to accept Adam's version of himself and begins his search for truth. Through the novel the reader learns Rank's attitude toward women; he has a virgin/whore complex which shows how narrow minded people are when judging women. Just as Rank generalizes women due to a certain characteristic, the media judges them to be innocent and good because of their appearances. Society tends to judge women in general due to the stereotypical roles the Disney princesses have created. They portray to be materialistic objects which compete to be in the property of men. They are never shown to be capable of protecting themselves from harm. The Morals behind the Disney Princess Stories The Exact Morals and Beliefs the Disney Princesses are trying to portray are also predominant in the works: Oedipus The King, Hamlet and A Streetcar Named Desire. "But the death of Laius left us helpless and leaderless in our trouble-" (Sophocles 11) This implies Jocasta, the Queen is not capable of ruling by herself. Her status itself is meaningless, because she has no power. She is unable decide her future just as the Disney princesses cannot decide their future either. Oedipus The King Sleeping Beauty Here princess Aurora learns she doesn't have any
control over her marriage just as Jocasta doesn't either. Gertrude, the Queen moves on very quickly from the death of her first husband. She quickly marries another in order to have some political status. Therefore enhancing the concept of women being weak but when they have a male on their side, they are seen more powerful. "A little month, or ere those shoes were old/ With which she followed my poor father's body" (1.2, Lines 147-148) Hamlet Aladdin Here princess Jasmine's father doesn't think Jasmine is capable of taking care of herself and thinks by getting her married she will safer and more powerful in ruling the kingdom. A Streetcar Named Desire "I want to rest! I want to breathe quietly again! Yes- I want Mitch...very badly! Just think! If it happens! I can leave here and not be anyone's problem.." (81) Blanche thinks the answer to all her problems is getting married. She believes by getting married her life will turn ten times more better. "Now run along, now, quickly! It would be nice to keep you, but I've got to be good- and keep my hands off children" (84) Blanche says this right after she kisses a young boy which shows how desperate she is get a man. "I don't think I ever seen you in the light" (116) Blanche is very conscious of her appearance and tries to hind her true self because then others would judge her. Which is why Blanche avoids the light whenever she is around Mitch. Cinderella When Cinderella gets married, she no longer has to live with her step-mother and step-sisters. Her life becomes more happier when she is married. Cinderella and her step-sisters are desperate because they all compete to win the heart of the prince, as if they want to be in the property of a man. The Prince cannot recognize Cinderella by looking at her face, instead her total appearance which isn't her true self. Beauty and the Beast Belle was automatically judged to be incapable of reading because of her appearance. The Story of Old Women "buy meat fruit bread/ clean cook/ stand on the street/ arms folded silent" (16-19) Old women have appearances which limit their capabilities, provide roles and responsibilities they may not want to accept. Just as princesses are denied certain roles because of their stunning appearances. "cowardice and bravery/ greatness and smallness" (48-49) Old women are categorized into groups due to appearances, but society just judges them from a far rather than judging old women on their personality. Gaston assumes Belle cannot read because she is beautiful. Overall Connections The Classic Disney Princesses Mitch assumes Blanche is harmless because her appearance, in reality her appearance hides her inner secrets. Hyperbole The main conflict which arises in each of stories is the princess is unable to protect herself from harm so she gets married and then she turns content with her life. This reoccurring conflict creates a theme of women not being able to take care of themselves, which influences society in judging women by their appearances rather than their personalities and experiences. Motif: The repeated image of the princesses getting married creates the symbolic meaning of women being and striving to be the property of men. Marriage symbolizes the loss of innocence, because before the princesses are married they're portrayed to be innocent and helpless but after they're married their seen to be more powerful and evil. Cinderella's Step Mother The classical Disney princesses represent society's views on women in general. Society tends to judge women by their appearances rather than their capabilities. Cinderella and her two step-sisters are portrayed to be helpless without prince charming. Automatically women are seen vulnerable. In the Antagonist, Rank tries to avoid a girl in the club because of her appearance even though she was trying to help him. Usually the Disney Classics portray the evil characters to be ugly and scary looking while the "good" characters are beautiful. Hamlet thinks his mother is not sincere to his father because of her quick marriage right after his death. Gertrude may have felt insecure to rule the kingdom by herself. Oedipus believes his wife, Jocasta is innocent and had no authority over him but in reality she is his mother; therefore making her an authoritative figure and a contributor to the incestuous marriage. Yet we humans have an instinct to rely on appearances to guide our judgements of what we believe is true.
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