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Feminism! A large and growing movement all across the world. One that is becoming a huge topic of discussion in the United States, especially for writers. Now, how does the short story “A Sorrowful Woman” fit the criteria of a feminist text? With several examples throughout the short story it can easily be shown. From the smallest examples to the huge ones that hit you right in the face, one can definitely see feminism.
What does the word feminist even mean? A short way to express the meaning would be the advocacy of women’s right on the basis of the equality of the sexes, which started around 1848.
What used to be a small group that evolved out of social reform groups, has slowly turned into a large massive movement exceeding those small standards all across the world. Now, a question to bounce around the noggin, how does feminism even apply to literature? Why is this a topic of discussion? Feminist literature is literary criticism informed by the politics of feminism.
Used by the principles and ideology of feminism to critique the language of literature. This literary criticism is seen in several books, short stories, and even poems in today’s time.
The short story “A Sorrowful Woman” reflected plenty of ideas regarding feminism. The troubled unnamed woman eventually felt isolated from her family. She was a stereotypical housewife but over time she began to have wrongful thoughts about her son and husband, leading to her feeling confused and weak. It gave an idea that women have their own thoughts and they are not just what society has thought of them.
The unnamed women even stated herself that in the sight of her husband and child, made her sad, and she does not ever want to see them again. It is perceived all through time that women are inferior to men because of their emotions and that they are cunning. Although, qualities like that do not make one inferior to men, everyone is counted equal in the eyes of God.
A sarcastic way of showing feminism was making the husband seem feministic throughout the short story. He understood her, as said several times, took over her duties, and took care of her and the son. Although, he did not necessarily help the wife in a way, he just took over all her jobs and let her do nothing, which ultimately just helped her on the surface and not deep down.
The girl that comes in about the middle of the short story. The young lady shows an extravagant example of feminism, the women could have chosen anyone to basically be a caregiver and housekeeper for her and the family but she chose this girl and even called her perfect. An idea behind that was the fact that she was a girl and not a boy, she knew how to do everything already because that is what a woman’s role ultimately is. She took care of everything perfectly just as the mother would have done herself if she was not so-called sick. It stated in the short story that she painted her room, fed the child, read to the boy, raced him to the mailbox, cooked food, danced, knitted dresses, and even washed the mother’s hair and gave her neck rubs. The girl was perfect in the eyes of the mother because she could take over all of her responsibilities and could do them correctly.
Implied all throughout the text is the idea that this woman wanted a bit of freedom and separation from her basic everyday tasks, she was striving for a bit of independence in a way. A wonderful thought regarding feminism. Giving many different examples where it pushes on this idea that goes along with feminism.
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