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Society, Oppression, Insanity, and the Women That Endure It.

In: English and Literature

Submitted By ko2131
Words 1694
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Society, Oppression, Insanity, and the Women that Endure It. Throughout history there are countless examples of men who feel obligated to protect women. In fact, it has become such a standard of interaction between men and women that it has often led to a patriarchal society in which men are superior to women. The men, despite their genuine intentions, are often unaware of the negative effects that their dominating influences have on the women they love. Women in these societies often experience alienation, isolation, low self-esteem, and even insanity. The protagonists in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” and William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” both portray the subordinate position of women in late nineteenth-century society. “A Rose for Emily” is an unsettling tale of an aging spinster, Miss Emily, who clings to the past and lives in a world of her own making. Miss Emily is a mysterious character who was once a hopeful young woman from an affluent family but is transformed into a reclusive, eccentric old woman through the acts of her controlling father. Her community views her as having “a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town” (Faulkner 30); and she is a monument to the past in a small, modernizing southern town in the late nineteenth century. Throughout her life, her father routinely dismisses all of her potential suitors until the day of his death. Alone and betrayed, Emily is unable to accept his passing; and it is several days until the body is removed. She lives alone for many years until she meets a man, Homer Barron, who becomes her first true suitor. In time Emily realizes that Homer is not willing to commit and is faced with the prospect of living a lonely, solitary life. She takes action, poisoning him with arsenic from the druggist, and tucks him into bed ensuring that she will never be alone again. The protagonist, Jane,...

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