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

Gender In Literature Essay

2452 words - 10 pages

People who are different, who go against the status quo, are those that receive labels like outcasts, weird, or freaks. Characters that are different however, are attractive to audiences. It is their defiance and ability to see through the cracks of stereotypical society and rebel against them that can peak curiosity within a reader. There are people in the world who believe that they alone in their thoughts or actions; they can find common ground- or inspiration through a character. These outcasts are the ones that trigger emotions within the audience, ranging all over the emotional spectrum: from anger to shock to envy. Many authors, especially those who lived and wrote during times of repression of groups and urges for social change, wrote “outcast” characters that were shocking to the time. Kate Chopin and Sandra Cisneros, two authors from two separate eras of history, portray the main characters in their stories as outsiders within their respective environments. In Chopin’s The Awakening (1899), Edna Pontellier struggles with the demands that society expects her to fulfill. In Cisneros story, “Woman Hollering Creek” (1991), Cleófilas has moved to a new country with a new husband, and struggles to find her place between two separate cultures, while dealing with an abusive relationship. Chopin and Cisneros present their characters as outcasts by contrasting them to societal norms of the authors’ respective time through the use of point of view, structure, symbols and overall themes.
Outsiders have deviated from, or refuse to conform to, the social “norm” and can therefore be subjected to discrimination. The clinical definition of an outsider, from Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, is “a person who does not belong to or is not accepted as part of a particular group of organization” (Merriam-Webster). Human beings have experienced this sort of exclusion throughout history for a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons include: race, gender, sexual orientation, physical appearance, intelligence, or social standing. Discrimination is meant to isolate someone from accomplishing a task or taking part in something. However, it is not always necessary that a third party place the label of “outsider” on an individual. The feeling of being outsider can be internalized first, before the outside community is even aware of any deviations from common society. This internalization is found in both Kate Chopin’s character Edna Pontellier and Sandra Cisneros’s protagonist Cleófilas; where both authors play on the gender discrimination, as well as social standing. In literature women are often portrayed as outcasts, especially in times where new movements or progressive thinking were taking on rights issues. Chopin and Cisneros come from different eras, and their characters experience different discriminations; Edna is mostly ostracized for going against her gender norm, while Cleófilas is discriminated due to race and gender. In stories such as these, is...

Find Another Essay On Gender in Literature

Gender Bias Expressed in Women's Literature

2316 words - 9 pages Gender Bias Expressed in Women's Literature"The day will come when men will recognize woman as his peer, not only at the fireside, but in councils of the nation. Then, and not until then, will there be the perfect comradeship, the ideal union between the sexes that shall result in the highest development of the race." --Susan B. Anthony (www.feminist.com)Throughout history there has been an unwritten law of gender roles. Society has rooted the

Gender Issues in Children's Literature: Then and Now

3491 words - 14 pages Gender Issues in Children's Literature: Then and Now Charlotte's Web, Anne of Green Gables, Treasure Island, Cinderella and Grimm's Brothers fairy tales, have all been treasures of society's basic children's literature. They covered their share of beauties, villains, conflicts and happy-endings that many of us remember till this day. But were we as society's children aware of the impact these stories made on our views of men and women

Literary Review of Sexuality and Gender in Science Fiction Literature

3277 words - 13 pages Literary Review My argument is that SF literature offers a utopian hope for the future where individual differences are no longer criticized. To conduct this literature review I used multiple information sources to examine issues of gender and sexuality within science fiction literature. None of these sources claim to have produced a conclusive work on the interpretation of gender and sexuality in SF. Some of what I have read seems to be a

Warnings Against Gender Stereotypes in Early Twentieth-Century American Literature

1343 words - 5 pages Joe and both characters would have been better off. Additionally, she would have never broken from the engagement had she not overheard Joe expressing his love to Lily. This would have resulted in going through with their marriage, likely causing both characters a great deal of heartache for fear of breaking from their gender roles. Like the characters from Freeman's A New England Nun, the willingness of the characters in Susan Glaspell's

Gender Roles of Women in Twentieth Century Literature

1016 words - 5 pages representative of the gender roles and expectations of women in the twentieth century, the time that these poems were published, to be mothers and housewives. In the poem “Daystar”, it focuses on that women are expected to fulfill their place in society by becoming wives and mothers, which can lead to feelings of emptiness and resignation due to being exhausted and stuck. In the lines, “She wanted a little room for thinking/ but she saw

Gender Roles of Men and Women in Literature

1941 words - 8 pages sent to use her body and looks to seduce the king. This poem shows a woman with no morals, a naïve woman who will do whatever a man says in order to please him. Sadly, this is still seen in today’s society. As a result, women were gradually trying to make a name for themselves and move up in status in the Victorian Era. Gender behavior is very significant during this era and specifically in these works of literature that were previously discussed

Gender Stereotypes in Literature:

1106 words - 4 pages Damsels in Estrus Gender stereotypes have been around longer than any of us can imagine. Such stereotypes have reinforced behaviors and shaped today’s gender roles. Many women of the new millennia dislike such societal expectations and often enjoy challenging their traditional confines. One common way to discourage female based gender stereotypes is through empowerment. ABC’s Once Upon a Time is a prime example of such efforts. The female

Gender Stereotypes in Literature

2064 words - 8 pages reach their intended readership. And though on the surface this “novel for boys” and “novel for girls” couldn't be more dissimilar, their authors use these factors to mask the fact that they are really both gender-specific renderings of the same story: a domestic survival tale. Gary Paulsen's Hatchet follows in the footsteps of other famous novels for boys such as Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe and William Golding's Lord of the Flies, and indeed

Discuss how gender and sexuality are represented in urban literature. (Texts used are The International by Glenn Patterson and Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley)

2137 words - 9 pages The topics of gender and sexuality are inherent with urban society as they are concerned with everyday sexual or gender-related encounters. As a consequence it is important to discuss how these topics are represented in urban literature. The texts I will be discussing in regards to the question are The International by Glenn Patterson, and Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley. Both texts relate to different urban cities and decades, The

Gender Approaches to Analyzing Literature

687 words - 3 pages Recently, gender studies have become the main sources of information for understanding gender issues in the society. The masculine and feminine divide used to represent the socially constructed sexual traits which men and women are expected to portray in their relationships and interactions. In The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett, the characters strongly conform to socially constructed gender roles in the way they dress, talk and act. This

Gender and Attraction: A Cross- Cultural Review of the Literature

1975 words - 8 pages what men and women deem as attractive. Because the concept of attraction is universal, it is understood that all cultures have the concept of attraction (Glazer, 2014). Research in evolutionary psychology indicates that there may be an innate, biological drive that underlies cultural differences in attraction between male and females. This current paper seeks to review literature on culture and gender as a function of an individual’s attraction

Similar Essays

Gender Inequality In Literature Essay

1397 words - 6 pages Gender Inequality in Literature Gender equality, men and women having the same rights and obligations, and everyone having the same opportunities in society, has been a topic of discussion for many centuries (Dorious and Firebaugh). Women have used literature as a voice to defend their gender equality rights. Female authors have tried to achieve extraordinary success in literature while functioning in a culture that frowned upon female literary

Gender Inequality In Literature Essay

1613 words - 6 pages Gender equality, men and women having the same rights and obligations, and everyone having the same opportunities in society, has been a topic of discussion for man and women for centuries (Dorious and Firebaugh). For many centuries, women have used literature as a voice used to defend their rights as women. Female authors achieved extraordinary success in literature functioning in a culture that frowned upon female literary desire but men still

Gender Roles In British Literature Essay

1919 words - 8 pages A gender role in the time when British literature was being written was very important to the women history. Women were subservient to men in most of the British literature. Some literature women had a little more power than in others. When women were asked to do something by a man there was no way they could say no. the way women were treated then is the equivalent to a housewife now in the Twenty-First century. When a man told them to do

Race, Gender And Class In Faulkner's Literature

869 words - 3 pages is not surprising that race also determines importance in Jefferson (Faulkner 308). Sadly, the role of race in Jefferson is to discriminate against minority groups. In this way race determines who will fill the bottom social classes. Class, gender and race organize Jefferson; they provide order and tradition while also defining the behaviors and attitudes of Jefferson’s residents. Works Cited Faulkner, William. “A Rose for Emily.” The Norton Introduction to Literature Potable Tenth Edition. Ed. Alison Booth and Kelly J. Mays. New York, NY: Norton, 2011. 308-315. Print.