Comparative Study of the Woman’s Authority in Death and the Maiden and as I Lay Dying

Topics: Woman, Gender role, Novel Pages: 4 (1527 words) Published: April 14, 2013
A Comparative Study of the Woman’s Authority in Death and The Maiden and As I Lay Dying. World Lit Paper Two- Diana Macuil
The female role is much emphasized throughout literature. Some find this role to be weak, and characterize her to be naïve yet others portray her to be bold yet delicate. These two works are different since one is a play and the other a novel, which provides insight to how important the female role. In Ariel Dorfman’s Death and the Maiden, Paulina is a survivor of Pinochet’s regime and torture. She then takes matters into her own hands when it comes to trusting men and her own safety, her recognition of Dr. Miranda and his kidnapping shows how dominant the female role becomes. In William Faulkner’s gothic fiction, As I Lay Dying, the different characters thoughts and interactions show how Addie Bundren was separate from other women. The examination of the female role set in different places and with a different historical context is important because it provides insight to how the female role has changed worldwide. Women today are more independent and have more rights.

The female role throughout time has been portrayed as the submissive gender. Certain cultures have labeled female characters to be not only delicate but to be controlled by men. Today, they have more rights and opportunities that come about different individual struggles and experiences. With these experiences, authority has become one of the strongest characteristics they posses. Two works of literature that show how experiences change a woman are Death and the Maiden by Ariel Dorfman and As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner. In Death and the Maiden Dorfman shows how Paulina’s torture changes her perspective of men and take matters into her own hands when she recognizes her torturer. William Faulkner’s, As I Lay Dying, has many perspectives as it is told from different characters, yet their view on Addie Bundren portrays her to be independent.

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