English literature exam paper – Section A
How does the writer present her thoughts and feeling about the struggle for identity? •
How far is the extract similar to and different from your wider reading about the struggle for identity in modern literature? You should consider the writers’ choices of form, structure and language as well as subject matter.
Betty Friedan has started her speech with two rhetorical questions, “Am I saying that women have to be liberated from men? That men are the enemy?” She is encouraging her audience to think about what her feelings are exactly. She quickly answers her own question, “No.” Within the first two sentences she has already got her audience to think about her views and their response to that. This was a good way to get her audience intrigued about the content of the rest of her speech. Her first paragraph is a basic overview of her feelings on the modern’s women’s movement. This way she can develop her points further in the rest of her speech. Throughout her speech, Friedan uses very negative language to describe men and their actions. For example, forced, suppressed, brutal etc. This shows that she has very negative views towards men and isn’t afraid to share this. She uses this pessimistic language to show how men have been holding back women and their struggle for identity. She says “men are going to bear the guilty burden of the passive destiny they have forced upon women,” The word forced is quite a harsh and aggressive word and this shows how she feel women have been treated by the other sex. She uses the metaphor of men and women being half human because of certain things holding them aback. For example, “Men are not allowed to cry.” And “as women are only half-human, until we can go this next step forward.” This shows that women can’t feel whole or complete until she is equal with men. The metaphor is carried on in the last paragraph but that when women are finally “allowed to become full...
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