The Englishwoman vs. The Judge's Wife: To Be a Powerful or Powerless Woman?

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 250
  • Published : November 11, 2012
Open Document
Text Preview
Be a Powerful or Powerless Woman?
In “The Englishwoman”, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala writes about Sadie, a fifty-two-year-old Englishwoman who leaves her husband and children behind after her marriage with her husband for thirty years. Sadie goes back to her home country, England, to spend the rest of her life since she is not satisfied with the stifling life in India. Sadie feels disappointed when life in India is not the same as she expected, which she experiences in a culture clash between Indian culture and her own. However, in Isabel Allende’s “The Judge’s Wife”, Casilda is presented as a powerful woman in front of her husband, Judge Hidalgo. When Judge Hidalgo sets up a trap for Nicolas Vidal, the leader of a gang of bandit, by caging his mother, Juana the Forlorn, Casilda goes to save her. In their seven years of married life, it was the first time that Casilda had gone against Judge Hidalgo. After the sudden death of Hidalgo, Casilda gives herself completely to Nicolas Vidal, who is willing to sacrifice his life for her, in order to gain time for her children. Sadie decides to leave her family and marriage behind because of her powerless status within her husband’s culture; whereas Casilda holds great power against her husband and Nicolas Vidal. Due to the conflict between the culture of Sadie’s husband and her own, the Englishwoman despairs of the unbearable life in India. Although Sadie has been married to an Indian for thirty years, it seems that she has no power or influence in the family. Jhabvala says that, “Her husband’s family enjoyed and abetted her attempts to become Indian. A whole lot of them – mother-in-law, sister-in-law, aunts, cousins, and friends – would cram into the family car” (1258). It shows that Sadie’s husband has a large family, hence Sadie loses her hostess’s status and the other family members seem to have more rights than her. Moreover, Sadie starts living in this family with quite a lot of family members, and she needs to follow the...
tracking img