The main assumption behind feminism as an ideology is that women just as men have the same political, human and social rights as men and that as such they should be accorded the same opportunities and choices regarding their careers, expression and politics. Feminist texts usually reveal the author’s agenda in the society for women relating often to the oppressive patriarchal system and usually points out deficiencies in opportunities for women with the main character impersonating the struggle against men in the society. It is usually easy for the reader to identify the motive of an author in a feminist text.
The Yellow Wallpaper, a feminist depicts a picture of a struggle of a woman amid a male dominated world with societal norms favoring men. The main character in the text comes across technical words like ‘phosphate’ which appear strange to her and suggesting that she was overlooked in education. She suggests normalcy in women using non technical language suggesting that science is the realm of men. The narrator is a Victorian woman who is simple and dutiful to her husband. She describes the garden as ‘delicious’ suggesting that her place is in the kitchen. She does what her husband says and disregards her feelings instead blaming herself as being ‘unreasonably angry.’ She even agrees to be treated for her ‘depression’ by her husband despite her objections.
In the wallpaper in their house, the narrator exposes the discrimination facing women in methodical rhythm and here lies the crux of the story. The wallpaper acts as a symbol of male domination and authority with the narrator being fascinated by this authority, the wallpaper. The wallpaper if full of symbols such as its ‘stench’ which pervades the whole house suggesting an inescapable injustice of the silent rules that they lived by in that society. The wallpaper is ever present going by her description and stains everything just like male chauvinism.
You fit into me
Margaret Atwood depicts in the poem women being used as tools for sex and reproduction. When she says ‘you fit into me like a hook into an eye’ she suggests an unwilling and painful union that women are forced to fit whether in marriage or society. She demonstrates how women are belittled and treated as possessions and seems to have fewer rights because of their sex.
Much Ado about Nothing is similarly replete with misogynistic effects and has been reproduced to this day to achieve to ridicule feminism. Hero is condemned for her ‘cunning sin’ by her father and bridegroom despite have been falsely set up by her suitors. They use words like ‘foul-tainted flesh’ and ‘rotten orange’ and regard ‘death’ and the most fair thing to cover her apparent shame. Beatrice on the other hand wishes to be a man in her soliloquy ‘O God that I were a man.’ In her wish to revenge Hero as being a man will allow her the violence that men had access to in society.