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Feminist Criticism of Gone With The Wind
Transcript of Feminist Criticism of Gone With The Wind
Melanie's character pertains to the literary theory of feminism by assuming the typical women's role. Her faithful obligation to her housework and family defines her as a stereotypical, although empowered, character. The way she addresses Ashley and allows him to control the household displays her commitment to the submissive role. She directly contrasts Scarlett in disposition and goal orientation throughout the film.
Like Scarlett, Belle is a successful businesswoman—and like Scarlett, her success is seen as scandalous and makes her a social outcast. Belle serves as an example of what is considered unacceptable behavior in women in the past and present.
Belle is like the slaves who refuse to be freed; she endorses the social order that exists during the time period. That endorsement is meant to show that the social order is virtuous, that even those who are disadvantaged agree that the disadvantage is necessary and good. This enforces that women are meant to be inferior and in a lower class than men, adding on to Belle's poor reputation.
Feminist criticism grew out of the women's movement that followed World War II
Feminist critics analyze the role of gender in works of literature
Feminist critique: The analysis of works by male authors, especially in the depiction of women's writing
Gynocriticism: The study of women's writing
By: Emma Curley, Sia Dhillon, Christina Greene, Keira Guzman and Sydney Viar
One scene that epitomizes feminism in the film is when Scarlett opens her own business. Though the funding came through male sources, it was not common in that time period for women to be in such a position of power. Her lumber business was greatly successful and she consistently pushed normal cultural boundaries such as when she tended to her business while pregnant. Scarlett disregarded what was expected of her and made a routine of shattering the roles she was expected to fill.
¬ Scarlett wears more revealing clothing to the barbecue in order to create more attention towards herself from the men.
¬ Scarlett represents how dependent women were on men for a good life as she jumps from husband to husband in order to make Ashley mad and be rich. Scarlett needs money and gives the captain a proposal for money. This shows the power a female has with her beauty.
-When Scarlett's first and second husbands die she doesn't even care for them. If anything, she gets upset that she has to wear mourning clothes. This shows the strength of a female's first love. She truly mourns when her daughter dies which proves a female's love for her child is indescribably strong regardless of who the father is.
Scarlett's husband tells her that if she was a man he'd punch her in the mouth, which gives off the stereotype that men are tougher than women.
-Scarlett took no disrespect from any man until the night her husband got drunk and began to get aggressive with her. In this scene it is shown how weak a female is when her huband chooses to use his power/strength against her.
-The man walks towards Scarlett without any fear considering that she is a female and females are harmless people who give life. Ironically, she shoots him dangerously and takes his life away. This shows how unexpected Scarlet's actions are in her role as a female to the audience.
- Scarlett owns a business, which directly contrasts the expectations for females of her time