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Overcoming Ourselves


Submitted By prettypeanut
Words 692
Pages 3
Colleen Alhabbal ID: 900850740
English 2132 (online)
Professor: Mr. Lee Jones
Georgia Perimeter College Online
June 6, 2006
Overcoming Ourselves
The goal of feminist literature is to secure equality for women socially, economically, and politically. Some writers do this by depicting women in subordinate positions to men and how their struggle for equality results in detrimental consequences. However, some feminist writers achieve the promotion of women’s rights for equality through the depiction of the innate power that already exists in every woman. Two such successful feminist authors of 19th century literature are Emily Dickinson and Kate Chopin. Although both have extensive works to choose from, focusing on one example of each writer will provide a precise and clear proof of their ability to empower the women of their time to break through society’s mental barriers by shocking their sensibilities with scandalous models of free thought.
Emily Dickinson’s 1862 poem, ‘The Soul Selects Her Society,’ places women as having power over men, certainly not indicative of the 19th century patriarchal society. The ‘Soul’ is definitely feminine in this work and yet Dickinson has attributed characteristics to the ‘Soul’ that at the time are considered masculine. This feminine ‘Soul’ is steady, “Like stone,” commanding, “select(ing) her own Society,” imposing, “Unmoved — an Emperor be kneeling Upon her Mat” and decisive, “Then — close the Valves of her attention.” The male in this poem, the Emperor, represents all men as they are perceived to hold the power, but Dickinson through this poem declares that women dictate their own destiny when they understand that the power of men is limited by the amount of permission granted to men by women to use their power over them. This poem is considered a call for a correction in the way women perceive themselves and claim respect

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