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

The Woman Question: The Oppressed Other Half

1867 words - 7 pages

Evelyn Cunningham once said, “Women are the only oppressed group in our society that lives in intimate association with their oppressors.” For thousands of years women have been oppressed, not in the bondage of slavery but in the bondage that comes from a lack of education and a dependence on men for their livelihood. Women have been subjected to scrutiny and ostracization, belittling and disparaging comments, and even at times they have been feared by men. Women themselves have even taken on the beliefs that they require a man in their life to be taken care of and have a satisfying life although some women and even some men have seen that the differences between the sexes is purely physical. This oppression, as well as the enlightenment of some, is well noted in many literary works. Literature has often been an arena for the examination of the “woman question,” as it was termed in the Victorian age. Four works that examine the role or view of women in society are John Stuart Mill’s The Subjection of Women, T.S. Eliot’s “Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, and Carol Ann Duffy’s “Medusa.” Although each work examines a side of the woman question in its own way with a variety of views on the question, all of the works examine the fear that women incite in men, the idea that women are dependent on men, and the idea that women are separate from men in some way and each piece works to show that there is actually an interdependence between men and women that is often not expressed.
Women have often been viewed as separate from men based on the physical differences between the sexes. Early in the women’s movement in England, Mill wrote his book The Subjection of Women which discusses the separation and subordination of women to men how society views this as natural. Mill asserts that this separation and domination is based on an idea of two natures in people, “…in regard to the dominion of men over women is usually based, namely that there are different natures among mankind, free natures, and slave natures…” (Mill, 1061). This idea that men and women are born of two different natures was not new at that time but Mill described this difference in the same ways whites described blacks in that day. In most instances the different natures would have been described as a domestic and servile nature versus a domineering and sovereign nature. This separation of the sexes can also be seen in Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own when she describes the differences between the two campuses. The men’s campus is grand and well funded and the meal that is served is like a feast. The women’s campus is overgrown, in poor condition, struggling to survive financially, and the meal served was a very plain pauper’s meal. This shows that the women’s education was not valued by the men. A woman’s education granted merely as a courtesy and was not considered a legitimate means for women to get ahead in life. The women’s college was...

Find Another Essay On The Woman Question: The Oppressed Other Half

Jacob Riis' How the Other Half Lives

1567 words - 6 pages Jacob Riis' How the Other Half Lives In How the Other Half Lives, the author Jacob Riis sheds light on the darker side of tenant housing and urban dwellers. He goes to several different parts of the city of New York witnessing first hand the hardships that many immigrants faced when coming to America. His journalism and photographs of the conditions of the tenant housing helped led the way of reformation in the slums of New York. His

The Oppressed Gender Essay

841 words - 4 pages Imagine if you were a woman in nineteenth century America, what do you think life would be like? The obvious answer is that one would be subjected to being a housewife and only a housewife, but there was something else that went far beneath this surface oppression. For women, the nineteenth century was a dark period. Not only were they thought of as glorified maids, but they were also greatly oppressed and subjected to the rule of man. At this

The Oppressed People of Burma

3060 words - 12 pages The Oppressed People of Burma Burma, like many other Southeast Asian nations, is a land of much culture and diversity of ethnic groups. Unfortunately, unlike the people of other nations, the people of Burma have been stripped of their human rights. Since the military junta had overtaken the Burmese government in 1988, the people of Burma have been among the most oppressed people in the world. The continuation of the government’s brutality

The Half-Skinned-Steer

1507 words - 6 pages The story "The Half-Skinned Steer" by Annie Proulx could be classified in the Return to the womb arch-type. It fits that unit theme very well, mainly because the main character in the story, whose name is Mero, returns to his place of birth and childhood almost sixty years later. The one major event that leads him back home is the death of his brother Rollo. Mero had left the country out by Cheyenne, Wyoming to go and live in New York City

The Second Half

1306 words - 6 pages his idea bears little actual weight. ‘=P’ shows up again in lines (10), (28) and (30) of Spock. In (28) it is an utterance in and of itself, serving as a response to Sarah’s inquiry in the line before. This time it suggests cheekiness: Sarah and Chuck both know the answer to her question. Rather than outright saying yes, he responds with the more coy and pseudo-pragmatic marker ‘=P,’ but still acknowledging Sarah’s assessment. Sarah’s use of it

The Glass Half Empty

1210 words - 5 pages , but to males and other masculine figures as well. One critic goes on to states that Sylvia Plath’s poem “Daddy” revolves around ending the memories of her father. She takes her memories and personal experiences and recreates them with the image of WWII. She uses symbolism of the different aspects of war to convey the relationship she had with her father. In the poem she associates her father with a Nazi and herself a Jew, which helps to show

Paulo Freire's Pedogogy of the Oppressed

1189 words - 5 pages as the practice of freedom to overcome the above contradiction."(74). The oppressed, once free, experience their world, and as a result question it. This is where they break free from oppression and begin the journey to freedom from this restricted educational system that Freire calls "banking system". Freire also mentions that "Problem-posing education, as a humanist and liberating praxis, posits as fundamental that the people subjected to

Jacob Riis' "How the Other Half Lives"--Some opinions about the nature of the photograph for historical purposes

855 words - 3 pages residents or do away with The Bend entirely. Week after week, left Riis disappointed with the lack of action his articles were stirring. Eventually, he left reporting to write a book, How The Other Half Lives, chronicling the horrors of the slums. His logic being a book of writing, statistics and photographs would be better able to capture the emotion and the need for immediate attention he felt the situation warranted than weeks of articles

Was the group privileged or oppressed?

761 words - 3 pages privileged because they were allowed to stand against any injustice and were provided with justice. But the penalties were harsher than those of the upper classes because they were counted as the lower class due to lack of education and wealth. Following the peasants were the slaves who were the only oppressed class in the society. They were mainly captured from the war or sold by the ancestor in return of any other valued thing. They did not have

The Question

1522 words - 6 pages something we can or cannot cope with.Gilgamesh, after defeating Humbaba, killing the Bull of Heaven, establishing his name in the Land of Cedars, and ultimately elevating himself to a being higher than any other, now endures a more subtle battle "" a battle with himself. This concept of internal struggle is perhaps more essential to the ultimate question than fame or nobility, simply because it is more directly linked to the issue of mortality. The

The Oppressed Female in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre

978 words - 4 pages The Oppressed Female in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre      In Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë clearly demonstrates the relationship between sexuality and morality in Victorian society through the character of Bertha Mason, the daughter of a West Indian planter and Rochester's first wife. Rochester recklessly married Bertha in his youth, and when it was discovered shortly after the marriage that Bertha was sexually promiscuous, Rochester

Similar Essays

The Other Half Essay

2451 words - 10 pages Vin Diesel were best friends, in the movie and in real life? Yeah, when Walker died, Vin Diesel flew to straight his family to spend time with them, thinking they needed his strength but he broke down in front of them and Walker’s mom said ‘Sorry.’ ‘Sorry for what?’ Vin asked, ‘You are the mother who lost a son.’ ‘Yeah’ she said, ‘but you lost your other half.’ ” I was about to say “Aww,” but I was interrupted by a runner. who had a message

How The Other Half Lives Essay

2842 words - 12 pages History textbooks seem to always focus on the advancements of civilization, often ignoring the humble beginnings in which these achievements derive. How the Other Half Lives by journalist-photographer Jacob A. Riis explores the streets of New York, using “muck-racking” to expose just how “the other half lives,” aside from the upbeat, rich, and flapper-girl filled nights so stereotypical to New York City in the 1800s. During this time, immigrants

How The Other Half Lives Essay

1579 words - 6 pages In How the Other Half Lives, the author Jacob Riis sheds light on the darker side of tenant housing and urban dwellers In How the Other Half Lives, the author Jacob Riis sheds light on the darker side of tenant housing and urban dwellers. He goes to several different parts of the city of New York witnessing first hand the hardships that many immigrants faced when coming to America. His journalism and photographs of the conditions of

Jacob Riis: How The Other Half Lives

1811 words - 8 pages How The Other Half LivesAs the nineteenth century came to a close and the industrial revolution continued gathering momentum, the Victorian ideal of social responsibility was also coming to an end. The strong moral values the Victorian held to such things as self-control, order, sobriety, and being respectful of property seemed to be dieing along with public conscientiousness. These strong ethical beliefs held by Victorian society were slowly