A Modern Female Image In A Woman On A Roof

1317 words - 5 pages

A Modern Female Image in A Woman on a RoofDoris Lessing, the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature, is described as the epicist of the female experience, with skepticism, fire and visionary power that have subjected a divided civilization to scrutiny. With the subtle depiction of women and their life experiences, Lessing illustrates her deep concern of women's social status and rights. In A Woman On a Roof, one of the twentieth century's pivotal works of fiction speaking for women, Lessing demonstrates an unnamed woman bathing sunshine on the roof in the middle of summer in London, who has fortune, leisure and taste to enjoy herself under sunshine while three male workers make all efforts to approach her. No matter what method they try, the woman pays no attention to them with dignity.The image of this woman on the roof rebels against the traditional female image. In tradition, women are considered as the subordinates of men, and angels in the house. The ultimate goal of women's life is to maintain their family and take good care of their husbands and sons. Women are called upon to behave according to the moral code of the male-dominated society rather than their own wills, and they are posited as materials rather than human beings. Men appreciate women's beauty, judge women's functions by their housekeeping skills, and rule over women's body and mind. Once women no longer meet the requirement of men to be obedient and conservative, they will be condemned by social pressures. In this story, the woman differs from traditional women in terms of appearance, behavior and language, showing Lessing's advocacy of feminism.The detailed description of the woman's appearance challenges the traditional ideas that women have to dress conservatively and plainly. In the context, the woman is depicted as the opposite: "The woman, still lying prone, brought her two hands up behind her shoulders with the ends of a scarf in them, tied it behind her back, and sat up. She wore a red scarf tied around her breasts and brief red bikini pants. This being the first day of the sun she was white, flushing red."(Lessing, 218) Naked except for the red bikini pants, the woman seems sexy to the male workers. Traditionally, women are not supposed to expose their body in public places, as it is considered to be flirty and immoral. But the woman on the roof spreads her naked arms and legs comfortably while ignores the judgments and gazes of men. The woman, she is also conscious of her beauty and willing to show it to others. At that time, many women fail to recognize their own beauty. They spend most of their time coping with various household activities while paying little attention to themselves. The woman on the roof is different. She displays her body boldly. Her every movement, for the three workers, is too attractive to look away. She knows that her beauty is a gift. Instead of hiding female features under heavy clothes, she prefers to let them shine. Moreover, women...

Find Another Essay On A Modern Female Image in A Woman on a Roof

Exploring Pain in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

2060 words - 8 pages they had difficulty with the play's resolution. (Winchell, 711) ...critics and ordinary theatre-goers have not always known what to make of the play. Both the original and the Broadway versions of the third act leave questions unanswered and an uneasy sense that the answers suggested are willed and artificial. (Winchell, 711) The plot in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" centers on a Southern family, who gather together to celebrate the patriarch

Dramatic Devices in Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

1013 words - 4 pages Dramatic Devices in Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof "Williams instinctively understands the loneliness of a human being - his or her constant and desperate attempt that is to escape the reality that is there loneliness and their subsequent failure to do so". Williams portrays this loneliness to an audience through the spatial distances on stage between characters, which is suggested in the stage direction. "Margaret is

Symbolism, Imagery and Allegory in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and A Streetcar Named Desire

2326 words - 9 pages Symbolism, Imagery and Allegory in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and A Streetcar Named Desire   Tennessee Williams said, in the foreword to Camino Real, "a symbol in a play has only one legitimate purpose, which is to say a thing more directly and simply and beautifully than it could be said in words." Symbolism is used, along with imagery and allegory to that effect in both Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and A Streetcar Named Desire. Both plays

Report on Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

596 words - 2 pages Cat on a Hot Tin Roof 1) After reading the play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams, I have decided that I would have somewhat dull costumes and sets if I were to direct this piece. I would make them dull because I associate bright things with happiness, and this play in no way seemed happy to me. It seemed full of issues that some unfortunate people have to deal with everyday, so I would try to make it as real as possible. I

Homosexual Theme in Tennessee William's Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

620 words - 2 pages Homosexual Theme in Tennessee William's Cat On A Hot Tin Roof              In his essay "Come back to the Locker Room Ag'in, Brick Honey!" Mark Royden Winchell discusses several aspects of the homosexual theme in Tennessee William's play Cat On A Hot Tin Roof. Winchell describes the play as subversive because it casts doubt onto the innocence of male companionship, the two most tolerant characters are the most overtly heterosexual

Treatment of Women in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Frankenstein, and Othello

1911 words - 8 pages Tin Roof, although the woman are perhaps metaphors of the “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”, suffering their uncomfortable position of the patriarchal society; yet enduring it, as seen in act II between Big Daddy and Big Mama, whereby she says “I did you love! I even loved your hate and your hardness”, Williams reveals strong contrasts between the reactions of female characters to their treatment, which is the “hot tin roof”, implying perhaps, individual

Jane Eyre As A Modern Woman

764 words - 3 pages possess. Perhaps the biggest reason why Jane is a modern woman is because she takes matters into her own hands. She is in complete control of her life and her destiny. Most women of that time were completely dependent on their husbands for everything. Jane Eyre represents Charlotte Bronte’s idea of a modern woman because she can read, write, and she is independent.      Initially, Charlotte Bronte shows that Jane

Jane Eyre As A Modern Woman

941 words - 4 pages settle for a loveless marriage.Initially, Charlotte Bronte shows that Jane represents her idea of a modern woman because she was able to read. Most women of that time period were never schooled. Instead, they stayed home doing housework and depended on their husbands. Jane, on the other hand, was educated and started reading as a little girl in the Reeds' house. For example, before she and John got into a fight, Jane sat down by the window and began

Domestic Realism in Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

1182 words - 5 pages Domestic Realism in Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Throughout the play of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" various members of the family are at loggerheads. However, this comes to a climax in this passage as Big Daddy's imminent death is confirmed and the question of the heir to the estate becomes an important issue. The Oxford Companion to American Literature describes the play as "depicting bitter, abnormal family

"Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" by Shannon Baxter.

564 words - 2 pages to win back Bricks' love and ensure a portion of Big Daddy's estate for their future. Her early beginnings with poverty have her concerned for wealth. This proves true as she plays the ideal couple and uses the charade of pregnancy to win favor in the family. The only way that she is able to get Brick to go along with her plans is to hide all of his alcohol.Gooper and May have five children and an addition child on the way. Gooper feels that he

The Birth and Death of a Modern Woman: On the Book "The Chrysanthemums" by John Steinbeck.

1470 words - 6 pages Henry isn't ready to give up his power over his wife.When he goes to get the car Henry tells his wife that he'll get the car and that "she can put her coat on" (9) while waiting for him. In this we see that Henry isn't ready to give up the control he had on his wife. We also see Elisa start to backslide away from her role as the modern woman. One major problem we have here though is a lack of communication. Although she has found her strength, she

Similar Essays

Women As Objects In A Woman On A Roof

1176 words - 5 pages Women as Objects in A Woman on a Roof         Doris Lessing’s "A Woman on a Roof" allows us to understand how some men view woman: as mere objects for display and possession. Lessing shows how each of the male characters reacts and deals with rejection from a woman sunbathing on a nearby rooftop. We discover how three men’s preoccupation with sex keeps them unaware of how their advances may be unwanted and ignorant of their action’s

"A Woman On A Roof", By Doris Lessing

1109 words - 4 pages attitudes. They knew when to quit. Tom took his unbridled actions all the way because he knew no better.The men return to work the next day with a new distraction on their minds. The weather has changed suddenly and is no longer attractive to sun bathers. Without the presence of the woman on the roof there are no sexual thoughts to preoccupy them. For Tom and Stanley, the consequences of their actions are forgotten and only evident in their new levels of understanding.

Understanding The Behavior Of The Opposite Sexes In How To Talk To A Hunter And Woman On A Roof

1448 words - 6 pages relationship with. Lessing in her narrative "Woman on a Roof" portrays the behavior of men towards a free and independent-thinking woman who sunbathes on the roof near the one they are working on, and remains indifferent to their attention and provocations. These real life examples described by the two authors are reflected in the theoretical analyses of male and female behaviors and models of the differences in the perceptions of opposite sexes

Exploring Pain In Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

1992 words - 8 pages Exploring Pain in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof       "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof," written by Tennessee Williams is a brilliant play about a dysfunctional family that is forces to deal with hidden deceptions and hypocrisy.  The issues that this play revolves around transcend time and region.   By 1955 Tennessee Williams was already a well known and respected playwright. Theatergoers, as well as critics, had enthusiastically anticipated the