Women In Literature Suggest The Term Paper

Length: 7 pages Sources: 1+ Subject: Literature Type: Term Paper Paper: #12701050 Related Topics: Thomas Hardy, Bath, Scarlet Letter, Canterbury Tales
Excerpt from Term Paper :

Lawrence often compares the mechanistic world of industrialize Britain with the world of nature, and the fecundity and sexuality of the natural world is seen as distorted by the mechanistic world that has developed in this century. In such a comparison, Clifford is on the side of the industrial world, while Connie comes out on the side of the natural world. Yet, this is not what society wants women to be, and yet it is also the reason women were so restricted by society, because they were viewed as dangerous threats to the natural order because of their inherent sexuality.

In Lawrence's conception, living according to nature precludes the possibility of sin, though society may see the issue in a different light. While one could apply this idea to Hester and Tess as well, their authors clearly do not view the issue in that way, though they do find their women more sinned against than sinning.

More ancient writers tended to see sin as inevitable, and much of the behavior of their characters was ordained by the gods. To the modern sensibility, this suggest innocence, but to the ancient Greeks, a fatal flaw produced punishment in spite of the fact that the individual might be compelled to act as he or she does. The myth of Phaedra tells of how Phaedra, the wife of King Theseus, fell in love with Hippolytus, her stepson. She makes her passion known to the young man, and he rejects her. She then revenges herself on him by accusing him of dishonoring her, and this leads to the death of both the young man and Phaedra. Here as well there is a conflict between the laws of man and the laws of the gods, with Artemis exacting he audience all that will happen, giving the events about to unfold a necessity and a certainty that belies free choice. The goddess states that she will punish Hippolytus because he has neglected her, but even that was not a matter of choice as we know it. Phaedra as well is to be punished, and the goddess will carry this out because she has to do so in order to get even for past wrongs and neglect.

In Chaucer's the Canterbury Tales, the Wife of Bath can be seen as a character exhibiting primordial behavior, or behavior that is both original and primitive for her time. The Wife of Bath loves to engage in the offering of alms to show her piety and to affirm that she is one of the leading citizens and thus to be admired. She has had five husbands and other lovers. She is described as a worthy woman and as having been so all her life. The Wife of Bath first explains her philosophy of life. She is herself in favor of marriage so long as the wife is the ruler of the home. The story she tells carries this discussion forward with the same theme. Her hero sets out to discover what it is that women desire most and returns with the answer -- women want to be the master's over their husbands.

These various women do represent the idea that they are more sinned against than sinning, and any crimes they may seem to commit are performed from love, because they were duped by men, or because their background did not prepare them for the realities of the world in which they lived.

Works Cited

Benson, Larry D. The Riverside Chaucer. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1987.

Euripides. Ten Plays by Euripides. New York: Bantam, 1988.

Hardy, Thomas. Tess of the D'Urbervilles. London: Macmillan, 1953.

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet Letter. Boston: Bedford Books, 1991.

Lawrence, DH Lady…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Benson, Larry D. The Riverside Chaucer. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1987.

Euripides. Ten Plays by Euripides. New York: Bantam, 1988.

Hardy, Thomas. Tess of the D'Urbervilles. London: Macmillan, 1953.

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet Letter. Boston: Bedford Books, 1991.


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