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The Role Of Women Before And During World War I

1546 words - 7 pages

From having no influence in society to being a large part of the modern day, women have evolved alongside the ever changing culture they live in. The change was not always accepted by society and women felt the pressure to not develop their roles from the men and women who were not in favor of change. The change in women’s roles was visible in stories that were read during the year. The roles of women that are evident in the plays A Doll’s House, by Henrik Ibsen, and Antigone, by Sophocles, and the novel The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald help to show how women’s roles have evolved from being unequal to the societal roles of men to being considered equals; although, there are still aspects of life where misogynistic behaviors are shown towards women who have decided to created a different role in society for themselves.
In Ancient Greece, the tasks of the women were all household tasks whereas the men had political influence and were able to work outside of the house. It was not acceptable for women to participate in legal events in which she was the one it was being held for. Because of this societal rule, the women’s kyrios, a male who would be the connection between a women and the public, would represent her (Blundell). This is different in the modern day where women can represent themselves in court or even represent other men or women. Also, legally, a woman living in Ancient Greece had no “independent existence” (Blundell). This would have given them fewer rights than the men of that time had. Antigone, the main character in Antigone, was a woman living in Ancient Greece. One duty of hers, as a woman, was to take care of the burial of family members. In the play, Antigone’s two brothers both died in battle with one another and it went to her to bury them. One thing that is not mentioned in the play but would have taken place during that time would have been the matter of the inheritance that the brothers left behind. During this time period, who the inheritance went to had a very elaborate system. For example, if a man died the first in line to obtain his inheritance would be his brothers and their descendents but if he had no brothers then it would go to the sisters. Eventually it may need to go to an aunt or uncle but it would have to be the uncle or aunt on the father’s side of the family (Blundell). After going through family members on the deceased side, it would then go to the spouse’s side, but not directly to the spouse. Today, women can obtain an inheritance before other males in her family. Although there are still instances where a man may try to avoid giving it to a women in his family when he passes. These ideas of women are different today but there are people who disagree with the change and wish women to revert back to their original positions in the household.
By the 1800s, the roles that women had developed to be more socially acceptable to participate in activities outside of the house, though they were still not...

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