This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Escape From Oppression Essay

1360 words - 5 pages

"Aunt Jennifer's Tigers" by Adrienne Rich tells of the repressed Aunt Jennifer who produces scenes representing freedom and fearlessness, but in reality is trapped and powerless. Only through her artistic expression is she able to find a temporary release from her entrapment. In "Trifles", Minnie Wright allows herself to be subjugated for thirty years before she frees her whole self, through drastic means that leads to a more permanent solution, murdering her husband. From a feminist perspective, these two works give very different examples of how a woman is the cast as the "nonsignificant other" (Bressler 144), but discovers a way out of her continual oppression by rejecting their insignificance.

Rich begins her poem by describing the tigers of Aunt Jennifer's tapestry. They are vibrant and powerful with no fear of men. One begins to feel that Aunt Jennifer, as the artist, must be a free spirit because she can dream of those tigers. They are above the men who want to hunt them and therefore out of reach. This confirms the feminist idea that women's minds are just as complex as men's and so their works of art should be appreciated beside that produced by men, not as inferior products: "both sexes are to be valued as creative, rational people who can all contribute to their societies and their world." (Bressler 153)

The second stanza introduces the reader to Aunt Jennifer. It stresses the struggle and determination it takes for Aunt Jennifer to create her work of art under the "massive weight of Uncle's wedding band." Aunt Jennifer is not only trapped by her husband, but as the wedding ring symbolizes, by the culture that reinforces the marriage. Her tigers are above men, but Aunt Jennifer is held down by her marriage. This type of situation, where a women is cast in an inferior roll, is one that feminists abhor.

The last stanza foretells Aunt Jennifer's death and refers to her hands as terrified, "ringed with ordeals she was mastered by" again brings up the image of the wedding band, but it also implies that she is to be a servant of her master until she dies. The last couplet reveals the Aunt Jennifer's ultimate victory. She did manage to escape after all, through her art. The product of her work will last for generations to come even after she is gone: "The tigers...will go on prancing, proud and unafraid." Although Aunt Jennifer was suppressed in her life, her art will reflect her inner self for all of eternity.

Through her art, Aunt Jennifer is accomplishing one of Feminism's goal, which is for women to declare their worth "in the arenas of politics, society, education, and the arts." (Bressler 144) Tradionally in Western Civilization, men were considered more spiritual, intellectual, and artistic. Women's art was dismissed as inferior and unworthy of respect. The teachings of the philosopher, Aristotle, and many other dominant historical figures encouraged this idea: "These imperfect and spiritually weak...

Find Another Essay On Escape from Oppression

The Cycle of Oppression in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

1970 words - 8 pages latter experienced overwhelming aggression and isolation. Such cruel treatment imbued a feeling of hopelessness and depression — while the Cycle of Oppression ensured they could not escape from society’s ruthless attacks. Shelley explores this idea of “othering,” examining what happens to an “other.” By the end of their lives, both characters felt misery and sorrow. With the whole world against them, they felt they had lost their purpose in life

Dead Poets Society Essay

859 words - 4 pages factors on Neil’s life: be they from individuals or institutions, they all manifest in his final action to escape the bonds of oppression and find true freedom. Mr Keating is a new English teacher at Welton Academy and, in contrast to the monotony of the other teachers, is shown continually smiling and whistling. He continually encourages his students to “seize the day” and tells them ““Most men lead lives of quiet desperation. Do not be

Alice Walker's The Color Purple

2479 words - 10 pages day when the unknown things that was in them would be made known”. Although haunting, Walker’s novel is a tribute to black women who recast their role within black communities and escape from patriarchal oppression. Walker shows that black women in the diaspora are able to retain their talents through their work. Celie is able to express her talent by making beautiful pants. She repurposes a skill that she learned through her work as a child wife

Thematic Analysis of "Rosmersholm" by Henrik Ibsen

1250 words - 5 pages Henrik Ibsen's play "Rosmersholm" tackles the issue of the oppression of new and radical ideas, liberal thought, and self-knowledge. The forces of oppression at work in the play range from organized political forces to interior motivations that distract one from completely realizing self-actualization. A battle is taking place between those who want to change the course of future events and establish a new order and those who wish to maintain

The Yellow Wallpaper: Fighting the Oppression

969 words - 4 pages realizations of-and attempts at escape from-this oppression. Wallpaper itself is a symbol of a typical domestic and humble home, where it was believed that women belonged in the 1800’s, and Gilman skillfully uses this terrifying, hideous paper as a symbol of the domestic life that traps so many women. The role of the typical women whom is seemingly unaware and/or accepting of the oppressive nature of her society is played by John’s sister, Jennie. As

Social Criticism in William Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience

903 words - 4 pages injustices caused by humankind primarily through the use of irony, imagery, symbolism and a clever choice of language.      Through a set of literary devices such as imagery and language, Blake protests against various forms of oppression resulting from humans in his poem "London'; which speaks about a slice of life in London in his times. Blake believes that an individual's state of mind enslaves itself. Therefore, he refers to the Thames and the city

Immigration to the U.S

808 words - 4 pages oppression. There are many immigration laws in the United States (U.S.) such as the green card, the immigration bill, and the Gentlemen’s agreement. These helps protect citizens’ benefits from the immigrants that come to U.S. Even though many of those citizens abuse these benefits in a prideful way; “Compassion and fairness ‐‐” (Leppala), these two ideas have been competing against each other over the debate with the U.S. immigrants. The

Fire´s Symbolism in Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

1244 words - 5 pages witness to a young woman's struggle to escape and overcome her repressive surroundings. Brontë makes heavy use of the motif of fire in her novel and Rhys does the same in Wide Sargasso Sea. In Rhys' novella, fire represents defiance in the face of oppression and the destructive nature of this resistance. For the rioters, Coco the parrot, and Antoinette, fire offers an instrument of escape from and rebellion against the oppressive actions of their

House on Mango Street Essay

1246 words - 5 pages inspired her to continue her passion that will eventually lad her to freedom from oppression. The characters of Alicia, Mama, and Aunt Lupe inspire Esperanza and act as role models by introducing her to perseverance and self accomplishment which allows her to escape her oppressed role as a woman in her society. Alicia teachers her perseverance by working hard and studying at a university, which inspires Esperanza to study and overcome her

Fasting Feasting

978 words - 4 pages from the constant oppression of her parents. This is further proved by the fact that Uma is the main character in the book and the author's symbol for the grossly subservient role of women, especially in Indian society. 2. “Her vision of escape, a refuge” This passage further displays Uma’s wish for freedom. This passage conveys that “A career” is an escape from her oppressing parents. Towards the beginning of the book, Uma would have never

American Music: Where Did it Come From?

3734 words - 15 pages too big and famous, and instead caused the same oppression and inequality that she tried to escape from. Sadly Janis Joplin, “the quintessential countercultural icon of authenticity and spontaneity, was being packaged, as was the sixties spirit she represented.” Instead of being successful in escaping from the negativity that she was exposed to in her childhood, she caused the same oppression and inequality that she tried to get away from

Similar Essays

Escape From Oppression An Essay Which Uses Two Literarty Works To Explore The Theme Of Women's Oppression From A Feminist Perspective (Using Feminist Criticism)

1290 words - 5 pages , murdering her husband. From a feminist perspective, these two works give very different examples of how a woman is the cast as the "nonsignificant other" (Bressler 144), but discovers a way out of her continual oppression by rejecting their insignificance.Rich begins her poem by describing the tigers of Aunt Jennifer's tapestry. They are vibrant and powerful with no fear of men. One begins to feel that Aunt Jennifer, as the artist, must be a

"Africa Emergent" By Nadine Gordimer Essay

554 words - 2 pages ability to produce original works in America. As his settings changed from the oppressors in Africa to the oppressors in America he found no escape from oppression. In fact, he realized that the oppressors from Africa were still affecting him. The apartheid in Africa prevented black people from growing, and when he evolved enough to know that he had to see life out side of Africa; he was not welcome to come back to Africa. According to the short

Setting, Symbolism And Oppression Of Women In The Yellow Wallpaper

789 words - 3 pages The Yellow Wallpaper: Setting, Symbolism and Oppression of Women Have you ever been locked in a dark closet? You grope about trying to feel the doorknob, straining to see a thin beam of light coming from underneath the door. As the darkness consumes you, you feel as if you will suffocate. There is a sensation of helplessness and hopelessness. Loneliness, caused by oppression, is like the same darkness that overtakes its victim. Charlotte

The Use Of Personal Relationships To Represent Cultural Oppression Of Women In The Story Of Zahra By Hannah Al Shaykh And So Long A Letter By Mariama B

1445 words - 6 pages oppression from her culture. In The Story of Zahra, Zahra tries to escape her culture and traditions and the oppression of it all by moving to Africa. Zahra hopes Africa can be her safe haven. However, when Zahra arrives in Africa she marries Majed. Majed is a sexually ignorant man, as seen when he says that “When I was eighteen, I thought it would be a good idea to marry for the sake of sex” (The Story of Zahra by Hanan al-Shaykh. Page 82