Feminist criticism


Many authors have written different literary works addressing the concept of feminist criticism. Feminist criticism mainly deals with political act with the aim of changing the world on how they present a woman and change people’s stereotypes.  Also, they aim at looking at equality on economic, social and cultural world between men and females. To that effect then, some writers have used their life experience to express feminist criticism. Other authors have written referring to other people and explain the concept feminist criticism. The following essay describes feminist criticism as expressed by different authors.

In the book “Hills Like White Elephants” Hemingway describes that there is an individual evolution in a female protagonist. Firstly in the text, he describes that women are expected to be submissive and less active in making decision. This is shown by man ordering the drinks. In their conversation in the hotel as they wait for a train the female asks the man what they should drink (Hemingway 572). The man ordering the drink and the woman taking without question shows how men are shown as the ones who are required to dominate in every action and women submit to them. Further, the controlling character of the man is shown when the man insists to the woman that she should do the abortion although the girl is not into it. The woman is also expected to be submissive to the exercise of abortion as the man shows the simplicity of the operation. “It will be simple trust me, and I will give you company” (Hemingway 573). The girl further shows how she can’t make a decision on her own when in the text she agrees to do abortion claiming that she will do it as she doesn’t care about herself.

According to the contest of the book hills like white elephants demonstrates that these hills are very rare symbolizing the unborn and how it can be very precious in the life. The hill has to sides one which is fruitful symbolizing good family and the good baby hence opting to keep the baby while the other side of the hill is dry symbolizing abortion which the girl is not pleased with it. Focusing to this the girl realizes that she can make her decision and therefore takes her things and decides to go on the other side of the station. She even shouts to the man and convinces herself that there is nothing wrong with her. It is appreciated that the woman makes her decision finally showing that even women can make their decision and stop submissiveness to the man.

In the book “I Stand Here Ironing” interprets the psychoanalytic of mother and daughter relationship. In the book, the woman talks about her experience and explains how her daughter is in a great depression. This literary work showed motherhood as an example of a feminist. In the story, she represents Emily and her mother and how they adapted a defense mechanism for them to know their unconscious aiming to comprehend about mother and daughter relationship. As a single mother, she is expected to provide for the family, therefore, has to work very hard. On the other hand, Emily feels that her mother has abandoned her also her counterparts have done the same thing. The mother also believes that she is leaving her daughter and takes this as a challenge. The mother is suffering from moral dilemma as she has to attend to the domestic matters, caring so much about the judgmental eyes of men and the expectations of the society. However, she lacks any other choice other than struggling hard to make end meet and making Emily grow up nicely. In the story, the mother is abandoned by his husband, and Emily gets depression of the mother. Finally, the two accepts themselves and tries to solve things within themselves and consequently lives happily.

In the book, “The Yellow Wallpaper” is about a man who abandoned his wife when he noticed that due to health reasons she was not expected to have other children. Following this, the mother intentionally failed to give Charlotte, one of the surviving child reasoning that if she did it now, she would not be affected in the future if accidentally failed to get the affection from people. To that effect then the girl had a lot of dreams about life where her mother advised her to reduce them as they could not help her. Charlotte even after knowing about the challenges of the marriage she became married at her twenty-three years. Fortunately she a bore a child, and from then she started suffering from the problem of motherhood as a feminist. After getting the daughter, she got into depression which affected her so much.As time went by, she realized that marriage and motherhood were the sources of the affliction and that effect divorced from her husband.  This action showed weakness in her. This lead to even becoming affected in her work of writing. In the “Yellow Wallpaper” described theories showing how women are traumatized by actions done by the parents. The woman went to seek for assistance from psychologist where he advised him to have rest and forget about all that he was doing. She shows this as a limiting factor to her life, and she decided to make her decision which came to help her at the end by taking life positively and facing the challenges well.

In conclusion from the above discussion, it is shown various authors have written books trying to explain their life in an aim of explaining the concept of feminist criticism. For instance in the book “Hills Like White Elephant” the author shows how the female is submissive to men. On the other hand, the men become selfish and want the women to do their will. However, finally the women realize themselves and make up the decision that favors them, and in our case, the girl decides not to abort the child although the man insists her to do it. Similarly, in the books, the “The Yellow Wallpaper women represent themselves as failures due to depression from the family but comes to correct themselves and makes a right decision which makes them move on with life.

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  1. Bauer, Margaret Donovan. “Forget the legend and read the work: Teaching two stories by Ernest Hemingway.” College Literature 30.3 (2003): 124-137.
  2. Beegel, Susan F. “Conclusion: The Critical Reputation of Ernest Hemingway.” The Cambridge Companion to Hemingway (1996): 269-301.
  3. Flynn, Elizabeth A. “Gender and reading.” College English 45.3 (1983): 236-253.
  4. Lanser, Susan S. “Feminist Criticism,” The Yellow Wallpaper,” and the Politics of Color in America.” Feminist Studies 15.3 (1989): 415-441.
  5. Haney‐Peritz, Janice. “Monumental feminism and literature’s ancestral house: Another look at “The Yellow Wallpaper”.” Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal 12.2 (1986): 113-128.
  6. Haney‐Peritz, Janice. “Monumental feminism and literature’s ancestral house: Another look at “The Yellow Wallpaper”.” Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal 12.2 (1986): 113-128.
  7. Pearlman, Mickey, and Abby HP Werlock. Tillie Olsen. Vol. 581. Twayne Pub, 1991.
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