Ragesree 1537251: gender studies

Rogers, Elizabeth. “Feminist glance : The Bride of Frankenstein”. The American Cultural Studies Journal. ASSP. 48-73. JSTOR.

The article examines the complex gender dynamics that form the core of the film The Bride of Frankenstein by James Whale. The article provides three instances to establish the gender complexities prevalent in the movie.

Firstly, the gendered scenario takes the shape of a triangle involving two men and a woman. This smoothly hints at the imminent exchange, followed by consequent erasure of the woman. The author finds this structure similar to that of an Oedipal configuration.

The article simultaneously problematizes the above claim by stating that the film also poses a challenge to the established and fixed parameters of such triangular models. The question arises how. The article answers the question by two claims. Firstly, the triangle constitutes the potential to change the competitive force of male rivalry into a subversive mode of male homoeroticism. Also, the triangle aims to minimize the demonization of women with the help of an assertive female power towards the end of the film.

The article further regulates the various possibilities that surround the image of the triangle. The gender triangle serves as an essential framework to define or render space to the thriving of feminist theory. The article argues that the theories that find groundings in this triangle are received as volatile structures in the dual reference of both gender and sexuality.

Thirdly, the author argues that the monster is a suppressed symbol of racial difference and his sexualized advances encode racist American discourse of the 1930s on the following domains : masculinity, femininity, rape,and lynching. This evinces that the focus of the film on race aims to mould feminist reading of the disparate gender moments of the film. It attempts dissolve the feminist film theories focus, which the author terms as “myopic” upon two dominant receiver : the white male gaze and the spectator.

The article concludes that the by rendering the camera to show two male figures suspended above a female corpse leads on the climax which is devised from a purely gendered lens.

 

All this is preparation for the film’s climactic scene, in which the two scientists animate the female monster; at this moment, the camera frames them in medium shot on opposite sides of hermute, bandaged form. Reading this moment against the first scene between Henry and Praetorius, we can see that the bride’s appearance fills the same function, structurally, as Elizabeth’s earlier disappearance. Both are silent catalysts for the furthering of relations between the film’s male protagonists, with the bride providing a more visceral example, different in degree but not in kind, of the treatment of Elizabeth (Rogers 55)

The article infers that the Bride of Frankenstein renders not only a psychoanalytic rigour of male rivalry and female erasure but also aims to depict the performance of a complex system of gender exchange.

 

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Ragesree (1537251) – Gender Studies : Feminist Literary Theory

Palkar,Sarla. “Feminist Literary Theory: Creating New Maps.” Women’s Writing : Text and Context Delhi : OUP, 2009. 11-19. Print

The author aims to define feminist literary theory within the domains of anti-patriarchy and the political approaches it infuses in literature. The essay posits that literary criticism through a feminist lens did not feature among the initial focuses of the feminist movement. Instead, social and political changes constituted the major concerns. She states :

The feminists who worked in academic institutions became convinced that literature and literary criticism were powerful cultural weapons in the hands of male hegemony to perpetuate its sexual politics in the name of universality, objectivity, and neutrality. (15)

The essay claims that the above statement can be counteracted by the feminist school of criticism which propounds that no “account”, whether it is “creative”, “critical”, or “theoretical” can be “neutral”. The author cites the personal bias and prejudice of the various writers as the evident reasons for this claim. She quotes Elaine Showalter :

In its earliest years, feminist criticism concentrated on exposing the misogyny of literary practices : the stereotyped images of women in literature as angels or monsters, the literary abuse or textual harassment of women in classic and popular male literature and the exclusion of women from literary history (Showalter 17)

The essay argues that feminism has taken a developed structure after being recreated in literature through novels. The author supports this argument with examples from books like The Madwoman in the Attic by Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar, Kate Millet’s Sexual Politics and Katherine M.Roger’s The Troublesome Helpmate.

The essay concludes that feminist critics range across liberal humanist the deconstructionist. The author refers to Julia Kristeve’s notions about the feminist struggle which is a three tiered one – liberal feminism, radical feminism, rejection of the male female dichotomy.

Ragesree (1537251) : Gender Studies – The Modern Heroine

Bisland, Elizabeth. “The Morals of the Modern Heroine.” The North American Review. 15.3 (1902): 225-237. JSTOR. Web. 09 June 2016.

The article examines how the nuances of morals have not changed along with time for the “heroine”. The author states that the men have cleverly imposed the weight of the morals on the feminine counterpart instead of sharing it in equal terms. This sense of duty is reflected in literature, which portrays the “heroine” within the peripheries of these morals.

The article traces the evolution of the “heroine” figure in literature, from the advent of the European civilization till the modern times. The author categorises the heroine figure is broadly three categories : the eternal feminine, the passionless goddess, and the greedy child. The article argues that the women themselves were not aware of the game of morals from ancient times to the modern. Mauverick says :

In the early literatures one finds the heroine, the ideal woman, varying from Antigone to Medea; from Phaedra to Penelope; and, tucked in between these extremes of virtues and vices on the heroic scale, there has been an endless chain of rosy, laughing, comfortable young persons with the morals of rabbits and the mentality of butterflies. (3)

The article concludes with the ways in which virtues and vices describes a woman. The modern heroine too is not free from the bondage of this labelling. The author states that even the rigorous writings of female authors have not transformed the situation.

Ragesree (1537251) : Gender Studies – The Frankness of Feminism

Jha,Vivekananda. “Brutal Frankness of Feminism : The Poetry of Kamala Das.” Post Feminism in India : Myth or Reality? Delhi : OUP, 2003. 111-125. Print

The author analyzes the characteristics of Kamala Das’ poetry that contributed to her being recognized as a worldwide feminist critic. The article posits how the “intensity of sexual yearning” stirred a great deal of unrest among the placid readers. Another striking feature of her poetry is her tone of confession. Summer in Calcutta (1965), Das’ first published work encapsulates her candid confessions about the disillusionments of an arranged marriage in disarmingly frank terminology. Hence, it is not over-reaching to compare her confessional poetry to that of Sylvia Plath or Robert Lowell.

The article discusses how Das differed from her contemporaries. Deviating from the common trend, Das ventured to write in English and not in her mother tongue. Despite wide criticism, she maintained that she had the freedom to write in the language which she prefers. The language envisaged in her poems was not only mellifluous but also filled with stark symbolism. The article argues that Das has expressed the suppressed emotions of women in terms that are bereft of any sign of hesitation or embarrassment. Her style of writing is compared to that of Robert Browning’s.

Many of Kamala Das’ love poems have a Browningesque dramatic quality. Like Browning’s women, her persona too sees herself in different situations against a concrete background, reacting to incidents in the development of the soul” (Nair 110).

The themes explored in Das’ poetry ranges from conflicting emotions of sexual desires and frustrations to the shackles imposed upon the freedom of the woman by the patriarchal society. The dominant theme that runs along her poems is feminism. She has also highlighted important incidents from her own personal life in the poems, like her unsatisfying marriage, her moments of lust, and the sufferings that she has endured as a girl child. The immense frankness with which she writes is termed as “brutal”. This is the chief quality of her verses that has attracted critical as well as popular fame. She had dared to speak aloud about things that have never been dealt with other poets preceding her or were considered as a taboo. The image of the suffering women amidst the wilful lust of the men have been beautifully captured in her poem “The Sunshine Cat”.

Das’s vehement lines “I wore a shirt and my Brother’s trousers, cut my hair short and ignored my Womanliness” reflect the ways in which she has fought against the “authoritarian standing orders of edicts and etiquettes imposed upon women by men” (Jha 113).

The article concludes with the description of the most prominent feature of her poems : joissance. Pleasure has been described in various forms in her poems. Her craving for spiritual love is sharply contrasted against the dire carnal desires of her husband to whom she was forcibly wedded. “When I asked for love, not knowing what else to ask For” portrays how she wanted her conjugal experience to be replete with notions of romance too. Instead her “sad woman body felt so beaten” (Das 120).