Oppression Of Women: Three Stories Essay

1779 words - 8 pages

Throughout history and literature women have been second to men. In the books we have looked at throughout the duration of high school, even the most powerful and influential women are often placed under men. The women’s actions and thoughts are often looked down on by others, despite the men having often performed worse actions than they have. This drives across the idea of imbalance among the sexes and pushes the idea of women being inferior to men into the reader’s mind, whether or not it is picked up. This theme comes up throughout each book either more relevant throughout the entire storyline or simply in a moment. Each way it comes across it shows this idea of imbalance. Primarily ...view middle of the document...

Emma’s actions as a woman are viewed negatively by her peers directly to show that she is not acting as women are meant to. She is made out to be a bad person where in her position every normal person would act in similar ways. Society’s judgement on Emma pushes the image of the suspected role of women throughout the story.
Opposed to society’s view, in The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Tereza exhibits the idea of unbalanced sexes through her own view of her actions. In Tereza’s and Tomas’ relationship, there is a direct imbalance of power between the two. Tomas has many affairs with other women while together with Tereza despite announcing his loves her. He is “genuinely incapable of abandoning his erotic friendships” (Kundra 21). Tomas is essentially able to have freedom over his relationship with Tereza while she is bound to him alone. When Tereza later does have an affair with the engineer she holds more strongly to the idea that what she did was wrong than what Tomas is doing. During the affair “her soul … [remains] neutral” as Tomas said he does with his affairs (155). She does not hold emotions toward the engineer, but simply lives through the event occur as two people having a sexual relationship. Despite this she holds the idea in her mind that her “body … [has] betrayed her” (154). Tereza knows that she had the affair the same as Tomas does, without the soul and love, but she feels that she has betrayed herself and the relationship. She looks at her own actions as being more severe than Tomas’ despite his actions actually being far worse. The imbalance in her mind drives the image that women do not have as much freedom as men. When she looks at the situation and believes her one affair is worse that countless affairs on his end, she believes men are dominant over women by not standing up for what is fair and equal. The way Tereza’s mind acts shows directly how she is made to believe that men hold higher position to women.
Finally in The Stranger women’s actions are shown to be inferior to men through the mens’ view on how they should act. This idea directly comes up during the beginning of the story with Raymond and his mistress. In this Raymond suspects that she has been cheating on him so from this he feels he is obligated to “[smack] her around” (Camus 30). This scene directly shows how the men believe they hold dominance to the women. For Raymond to beat her because he suspects she has done something wrong creates the idea that men should rightfully hold power over women. Going off of this we see this idea build up further when Meursault understands “his wanting to punish her” (32). Meursault is a man who is far away from society’s norms, but he still believes a woman should be punished when she does something wrong. Having a man such as Meursault believe in this idea directly pushes across the inequality of men and women in this book. It creates the idea that what Raymond’s mistress did was awful, even though she might not...

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