The Transformation of Women:
On Shen Te and Betty’s Negotiation with Others’ Expectations in The Good Woman of Setzuan and Cloud Nine
People do give others their expectation to make them improved or to maintain the same situation so as to keep everything as usual and organized in the way they wished to have.
Nevertheless, there are people who are brave enough to change the devastating situation when they are tired of those ordering. Women are some of them and they are smart, without doubt. Sometimes, their intelligence even makes men wonder or scare and then be viewed as
“treacherous” as Clive had complained to Harry. No man knows what they’re thinking at the moment. With another point of view, however, that intelligence can be used to create the self-protection which prevents harm and reproach by the unfriendly others and hostile outside world. Women make brilliant masks or disguises to hide their true self so as to conform with the convention and expectation. Yet, by concealing their inner consciousness, women suppress themselves bitterly and negotiate with the things around. As the time goes by, the transformation happened on them whether in physical or mental. In The Good Woman of
Setzuan and Cloud Nine, both of the plays discuss how others’ expectations and requirements affect an individual. Moreover, how the two female protagonists, Shen Te and Betty deal with their situations. Yet, because they have different background and limit of giving out their things or identities, what I supposed is that their ways of negotiation may be various and
in what way their endings tend to be opposite. Besides, the plays also show women’s intelligence can actually make a difference.
When it comes to the colonized expectation from others, the pressure on those female figures is heavy but heavier on Shen Te. The first I want to discuss is Shen Te’s kind personality that brought her to the dilemma. She treats everyone with her whole
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