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Feminist Theory

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Sharon Lee

on 14 December 2012

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Transcript of Feminist Theory

By: Ali, Sharon, Ernest Feminist Theory Araby James Joyce Hamlet The Garden Party Feminist in Hamlet THANK YOU Feminist theory is the extension of feminism when discussing theoretical or philosophical issues. It aims to understand the nature of gender inequality. It examines women's social roles, experience, interests, and feminist politics in a variety of fields, such as anthropology and sociology, communications, psychoanalysis, literary, education, and philosophy. Feminist literature includes drama, fiction, nonfiction and poetry that examine the experience of women and their struggles in a male-oriented society. It includes both theoretic and critical literature presenting arguments and historical evidence and imaginative literature that depicts experience. Joyce is supposedly paranoid about women and portrays women in his stories as powerless in society, and as if they are unable to make a decision without male authority. Joyce was as misogynistic just like man of his time. He even told a reporter, that he hated women who knew anything, showed that he preferred them in traditional roles. In Araby, the boy treated the woman sort of like a object. The boy in the story would stalk Mangan`s sister and not say a word to her. I believe Joyce was the little boy in the story. Laertes: “When these are gone, The woman will be out”.
Hamlet “For look how cheerfully my mother looks and my father died within’s two hours”.
Ghost: “The will of my most seeming-virtuous queen”. Laertes, Hamlet Ophelia and Gertrude show the feminist theory. Gertrude by acting like a virtuous woman but then moving on to another man when her husband passes away. So she is like a gold digger. Laertes because he thinks crying is a female feature. Hamlet is a misogynist. Ophelia is emotional. Definition Modern feminist criticism started from Simone De Beauvoir's Le Deuxième Sexe.
de Beauvoir discusses how equating men with humanity as a whole wrongly leaves women in an lower, more dependent status
Feminist criticism became more known during the 1970's and focused on both linguistic and literary issues. In linguistics feminist criticism was used to reveal and eliminate the primary male bias in language.
For instance, in English the sentence "Someone has left his book here." is using "his" as the pronoun for gender as a whole. Just like the 'man' in "mankind" unnecessarily emphasizes one gender.
Such feminist criticism succeeded in bringing stylistic changes to formal writing.
In literature, two trends developed in criticism. "Feminist critiques" exposed characteristics in the classics of literature.
For example, the assumption that men are rational, active by nature, and dominant and women are emotional, passive and frail.
Feminist criticism shares two traits:
the desire to effect social and political change and the view
gender alone does not define a woman's identity. Feminist Criticism Araby is a story about a boy who develops a HUGE crush on his friend Mangan’s Sister, and she happens to live across the street from him. The boy ends up promising Mangan’s sister to buy her a gift at “Bazaar” Saturday night because she isn’t going because she has to go to a retreat that week in her convent. On the saturday night the boy asked his uncle for the money to go to Bazaar, but his uncle had forgotten. After waiting a while, the boy receives money from his uncle to go to Bazaar. When he gets to Bazaar, it is too late and the event is shutting down for the night. A woman who was talking with 2 other males asked the boy if he wanted to buy something, but he said no thank you. He then walks away and sees himself as a creature driven and berided by vanity. Araby... Quotes of the boys obsession toward Mangan’s Sister: “ Every morning I lay on the floor in the front parlor watching her door. ” “ When she came out on the doorstep my heart leaped. I ran to the hall, seized my books and followed he. I kept her brown figure always in my eye and, when we came near the point at which our ways diverged, i quickened my place and passed her. This happened morning after morning. I had never spoken to her, except for a few casual words, and yet her name was like a summons to all my foolish blood. " " Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derived by a vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger. " there are female protagonists surprisingly in this story there are servants (cooks, maids) and the women supervise women are usually associated with flowers
Laura's mom associated her with pink canna lilies "she felt they were in her fingers, on her lips, growing in her breast." Laura has viewed these men as dirty, vulgar, and overly sexual but when she is closer to the man smelling lavender which seems to be anything but vulgar and dirty:
"He bent down, pinched a spring of lavender, put his thumb and forefinger to his nose and snuffed up the smell. When Laura saw the gesture she forgot all about the karakas in her wonder at him caring for things like that - caring for the smell of lavender. How many men she knew would have done such a thing. Oh, how extraordinary nice workmen were, she thought." Laura is rendered speechless by the patriarchal society that has not offered women, (female ) the words to talk about death.
"it is simply marvelous. But, Laurie - ' She stopped, she looked at her brother. 'isn't life - ' But what life was she couldn't explain. No matter. He quite understood. 'isn't it, darling?' said Laurie. "The Garden Party" is organized by Laura, Meg, and Jose, the daughters of the Sheridan family. As dawn breaks, Laura goes into the Sheridan's garden to inspect it for the marquee. Her encounter with three workers is awkward and confused. House preparations continue: a florist delivers several trays of pink lilies; Mrs. Sheridan fusses over the sandwiches; and Meg rehearses a comically inappropriate song. A delivery man brings cream puff and news of the accidental death of a local carter, a nearby neighbour of the Sheridan's. Laura immediately proposes cancelling the party, Jose and Mrs. Sheridan find that amusing and irritating. Neither sees any need to consider the feelings of their poorer neighbours. Laura is distracted by her mother's spur-of-the-moment gift of a pretty black hat decorated with gold daisies. She realises her own beauty and slips effortlessly into the role of party hostess, promising to remember the tragic accident later. The garden party passes and a delightful afternoon slowly ends. As the Sheridan's gather under the deserted marquee, Laura's father reminds them of the dead carter. To Laura's discomfort, Mrs. Sheridan suggests that she bring some party leftovers to the grieving widow. Laura brings the cream-puffs down the broad road still in party clothes. Down a narrow, dark lane she finds the carter's home and is led by the widow's sister to view the body. Alone with the dead man, Laura is surprisingly overwhelmed by the peaceful beauty of the corpse and absurdly sobs, "Forgive my hat." When going back to the house she meets her brother Laurie and they share her empathy. She struggles to convey the feelings that she just experienced, but is at a loss for words fortunately he understands her.
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