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From Space To Earth Essay

1526 words - 6 pages

Before WWII women were “banned” from all professions because they were thought to be incapable and should stay home and let the men take care of things. However, when WWII erupted, all healthy men were sent out to war and women were allowed to do men’s jobs which proved that women can do things as well as men could. This similar theme can be seen in the “Astronomer’s Wife” by Kay Boyle. In the story, Boyle portrayed Mrs. Ames as a typical housewife who went about doing her chores daily while Mr. Ames was portrayed as a hierarchical figure, who worked to support the family. Even though nothing seemed to be wrong with their marriage, however many problems emerges as the story progresses. Mrs. Ames slowly suffocated under her husband’s possessiveness. As a consequence, Mrs. Ames who loyally serve her husband freed herself by choosing to be with the plumber
The story can be analyzed using feminist criticism perspective. Feminist criticism is “" the ways in which literature (and other cultural productions) reinforce or undermine the economic, political, social, and psychological oppression of women"” (Brizee & Tompkins). When reading a text one can find how women were treated in contemporary times. It can be expressed in many areas listed by Brizee & Tompkins. Moreover, Delahoyde also gave more details on the subject when he said “Feminist criticism concern itself with stereotypical representations of genders. It also may trace the history of relatively unknown or undervalued women writers, potentially earning them their rightful place within the literary canon, and helps create a climate in which women's creativity may be fully realized and appreciate.” Women had been undervalued and taken for granted. Many things they do are not as well recognized as the work of men, however through writing women slowly gained recognition. For centuries women have stayed quieted while being treated as expendable. To mark the start of feminist movement, Walker said, “Organized feminism did not really kick off until the first Women's Conference held in Seneca Falls, America, in 1848.” It took centuries of underground work to get women with enough courage to start a movement. The movement had revolutionized how women are viewed and keep on improving the lives of women in America. Women are treated better now than any other time in history and readers can now analyze the work of those women who voiced themselves through writing.
Different aspects of feminist criticism unfold themselves throughout the story. The first example can be seen when Boyle said, “She would be absent from him all the day in being clean, busy, kind” (62) By saying that Mrs. Ames spent the day cleaning and being busy, suggests that she take care of all the little things in and outside the house. Mrs. Ames’ very actions suggest that she is a housewife who stayed home all day because she does not have any job other than her duties as a wife. Staying busy all day at home also suggest that Mrs. Ames...

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