Reading literature, at first, might seem like simple stories. However, in works like William Faulkner's “A Rose for Emily,” Katherine Mansfield's “Miss Brill,” and Kate Chopin's “The Storm,” the female protagonists are examples of how society has oppressive expectations of them simply because of their gender.
Curry believes that Faulkner displays the story of “A Rose for Emily” through scenes of gender differences. The beginning of the story shows the motivational split between men and women. At Emily's funeral, men attend to show respect, but the women simply want to view the inside of her home. Although Faulkner has left the gender of the narrator a mystery, many postmodern critics have ...view middle of the document...
The article was published in “The Mississippi Quarterly” leads me to believe it has more credentials because Mississippi is a southern state and presumably the residents understand the importance of how a 'lady' should act, a main component to “A Rose for Emily.”
Cutter dissects the works of Kate Chopin and elaborates on how each female character realizes her oppression and her journey to overcome or succumb to it in a patriarchal world. In Kate Chopin's “The Awakening,” Edna's voice is silent in a male dominated society. Edna is thought of as property, but yearns for a different life. She speaks of the ocean as a nurturing mother, but in the end, conclusively commits suicide by drowning in the ocean. Edna is a representation of women as the invisible gender. In general, Chopin believes that a patriarchal society limits women's right to control their own lives, and the way to make history is to speak up (or write, in Chopin's case). Cutter ended her essay with the argument that Chopin lost the 'battle' for feminine self-expression during the time “The Storm” was written, but ultimately 'won the war' due to her admiration for writing stories about a feminine voice.
The essay was intelligently written which will allow for many excellent and strong quotes. However, her words are somewhat hard to understand and follow, which may cause confusion to readers if I use them in my research paper. Most of Cutter's essay was regarding other works from Chopin and only a small amount of the essay is referencing “The Storm.” The most influential information I learned from the essay is that Chopin made history by writing like 'men do' which disrupted the patriarchal society. The essay was enlightening because it offered detailed reasoning behind Chopin's motives to write about female characters. I plan to quote Cutter's opinion of why Chopin's work is so admirable.
In Cutter's essay, she explains that Chopin's earlier work is much different than her later work. Originally, Chopin portrays women as passive and incapable of having a voice in a patriarchal society. On the contrary, her later works depict women who have found their voices and have disrupted patriarchal boundaries. More publishers accepted her works with submissive women characters, which made it difficult for Chopin to publish her more controversial stories with unconventional female protagonists. Cutter also points out that women who are overtly resistant against patriarchy, or have too strong of a voice, are labeled as insane. Cutter believes Chopin allowed the women to be labeled in order for publishers to accept the stories. A main component of Chopin's stories is that the female characters may not escape patriarchal discourse, but they do question it. Cutter believes this style of writing gives a voice for women.
Out of all the essays, this was my favorite and most enlightening. Before reading Cutter's essay, “The Storm”, to me, was a story of a women who had an affair, similar to the...