essay essay

Topics: Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar, Gender role Pages: 3 (765 words) Published: October 10, 2013

Final Essay

Through the feminist lens, equality, dehumanization, and stereotypes are seen within The Bell Jar, A Streetcar named desire, and A Farewell to Arms. The time period and author of each book are major reasons to why stereotypes are so strongly enforced. The time period of these novels 1940 to 1960’s was a time when women didn't have much status, men were superior and women were only housewives. Based on the gender, the author comes across these aspects differently by how they characterize the females, allowing readers to see their personal view points. The stories of the female protagonist in each novel are very different.

The author of The Bell Jar, Silvia Plath, lived from 1932 through 1963, as a writer her options were limited on the basis of her gender. During the era, society had constructed roles that were deemed acceptable for women and men. Those set roles included a dominant working man and housewife or mother. Sylvia Plath and the main character in The Bell Jar, Esther Greenwood, shared many commonalties. Esther felt she would never actually be able to have choices in life because of designated housewife role. "A girl lives in some out-of-the-way town for nineteen years. So poor she can’t afford a magazine, and then she gets a scholarship to college and wins a prize here and a prize there and ends up steering New York like her own private car. Only I wasn’t steering anything, not even myself" (Plath 2).

The fact that Esther felt she couldn’t follow her dream of writing depressed her, and eventually led to her destruction. Esther looked up to other female figures, such as Doreen until she found out she was dependent on men. Esther tried fighting the typical housewife concept, she was different. She did not let herself become an object of man. For one, she fought off Marco, rejecting him when he called her a slut, symbolizing her also rejecting society's conceptions of women. Another instance of her rejecting society beliefs is...

Cited: Hemingway, Ernest. A Farewell to Arms. New York: Scribner Classics, 1997. Print.

Plath, Sylvia. The Bell Jar. New York: Harper & Row, 1971. Print.
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