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    1 | W o m e n i n L i t e r a t u r e

    WOMEN IN LITERATURE

    Ummul Khoiriyah/112154017

    Outline:

    1. Introduction ThesisThere are some reasons why women become an interesting discussion in

    literature.

    2. First CauseDiscrimination makes women marginalized.

    3. Second CauseWomen mostly will lose their rights and be isolated in expressing their feelings

    and ideas.

    4. Third CauseThe dominance of men causes violence to women.

    5. ConclusionWomens role has been important in literature since previous centuries;

    discrimination, isolation, and violence make feminism works.

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    2 | W o m e n i n L i t e r a t u r e

    WOMEN IN LITERATURE

    Ummul Khoiriyah/112154017

    Feminism exists for long period of time since it has been introduced around 19th

    century. Many writers use the theory of feminism in literature due to focus their works

    on women. Thinkers or philosophers have explained their ideas of feminism; related

    to gender differences or womens consciousness of freedom. Feminists concern on

    exposing what women actually feel. They tell the stories, on the form of literary work (it

    can be drama, novel, poem, or short story), which shows how they are interesting in

    discussing women and the entire problem inside. Mostly, their works give illustration of

    women live their life with unsupported environment. Those writers also depict that they

    disagree on womens situation in the previous centuries. There are some reasons why

    women becomes an interesting discussion in literature.

    First of all, there is discrimination causes women marginalized. Differences make

    human alive, there will be no life if people live in the same way. Here, the fact that

    sexual differences exist actually affect women. Women in previous centuries can not do

    anything that does not fit the societys construction. Beauvoir has stated that women

    will be prevented to work, their duty only raising their children or cooking in the

    kitchen. Beliefs and customs in society launch the identity of women that are seen by

    being a mother and a wife [Tidd, 2004: 51-53]. Susan Glaspell is one of dramatist who

    directly shows this term. In her drama entitled Trifles (1916), she uses kitchen as the

    setting of place to prove that it is related to womans thing. Glaspell tells the case of

    Mrs. Wright who killed her own husband in order to take her freedom back. In Mrs.

    Wrights marital life, she was prevented to do anything she wanted including singing in

    choir like before the marriage as she was Minnie Fooster. Women around 19 th century

    will be treated as what people want they to be. They will be unrecognized unless they

    follow how the environment works or they can adapt well.

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    3 | W o m e n i n L i t e r a t u r e

    Second, women in the era of Jane Austen will mostly lose their rights and be isolated in

    expressing their feelings and ideas. This is the truth, when gender plays most of the

    important roles in society, women not only will be marginalized but they will be

    isolated. There is no place for women to confess their point of view on certain matters.

    Here, Kate Chopin in her The Story of An Hour (1894), tells the story of Mrs. Mallard

    who died after knowing that her husband, Mr. Mallard, was still alive after the news

    stated her husbands death. She directly gives the situation where Mrs. Mallard did not

    love her husband and kept it in silence for a long time. In contrast, women in this

    modern era will not do the same thing, they are free to choose with whom they want to

    live or refuse everything does not fit them at all. Again, Glaspell also makes the same

    proof trough her drama. She creates two more womens characters, Mrs. Peters and

    Mrs. Hale, who then made a conspiracy not to tell their husbands what evidence and

    assumption they got because of knowing their husbands would not listen their opinion.

    Eventhough, evidence they got only came from a killed bird in a box; it really means

    everything, they assumed that Mr. Wright had killed the bird; he did not like noise. The

    bird symbolizes Mr. Wright who used to sing. We can infer that women will lose most

    of their identity after marriage, because their existence has to picture how their

    husbands are.

    Third, the dominance of men causes violence to women. Beauvoir argued that men who

    are stronger than women will be consequently have the higher position in social

    organization. Women will only place their subordinate position support the idea of men

    and pass trough the system [Tidd, 2004: 52]. Both Mr. Mallard and Mr. Wright felt the

    same way that they had the right to limit their wives. The wives automatically become

    the victim of psychological violence. They of course will have a life in silence that

    nobody knows. Society only sees their marital life as a happiness one without caring

    what problem inside because they think their marriages have fulfilled the construction.

    Feminists not only look at the psychological one, but also the physical one. For

    instance, William Faulkner in Dry September (1931) also shows how McLendon, one of

    the White treated his wife. IT WAS MIDNIGHT when McLendon drove up to his neat

    new house. It was trim and fresh as a birdcage and almost as small, with its clean,

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    4 | W o m e n i n L i t e r a t u r e

    green-and-white paint. Faulkner uses the word of birdcage to depict that

    McLendons wife is like a bird in a cage. McLendon let his wife stayed home and

    limited her. He is told that he used to violent his wife eventhough he knew the

    consequences.

    In conclusion, Womens role has been important in literature since previous centuries;

    discrimination, isolation, and violence make feminism works. Writers often compare the

    condition during the era and the way they write womans character as a contradiction

    with the environment, such as women is unlikely confessing their own feelings. Women

    are considered complicated than men. By observing the condition of previous centuries,

    people start to know what the reasons make women be one of the focuses. There are

    more examples of literary works concern on women outside three examples above.

    Nowadays, women start knowing terms of freedom which makes them stronger and

    bear emancipation.

    References:

    Chopin, Kate. (1894). The Story of An Hour.

    Faulkner, William. (1931). Dry September.

    Glaspell, Susan. (1916). Trifles.

    Tidd, Ursula. (2004). Simone de Beauvoir. London and New York: Routledge Critical

    Thinkers.