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Blanca 1 Jesse C Blanca Instructor M.

Duckworth English 46B Topic Proposition

Long has it been the bane of women to walk behind the male master in society, what came about in the romantic era is justifiably sexist in all ways. Yet the emergence of, or rather the inclusion of women voices in literary form is paving way for a revolution of sorts. Acknowledgement does come in small bits, but what it fuels appears to be the coming suffrage movement. Conceptually what women are, is no longer relegated to just bearing child. The womb have awaken, and will be heard soon enough, that from the vile wretched segregated pits the coming generations will no longer hang behind husbands/masters. What the male writers did in conveying age old sexist contrivances would becomes a pivot point, a set of grievances set aloud by the oppressors themselves. What were those rallying cries, what possible fodder is written between the contexts?

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Jesse C Blanca Instructor M. Duckworth English 46B

Any person today with half a wit could tease out inequality, its expected, after all our society teaches the scale. The power dynamics between the sexes is almost a visceral mandate. Contemporary ethics atones for lapses in sexist judgment, even though we live in a predominantly male centric world. Gender hierarchy is ascendable by both men and women. While we expect the male ladder to have always existed, who propped the women? Where the ladder came from and how it was erected will be a close musing of three women. The seed of decent could have been planted by Defoes Moll, Wycherleys Pinchwife, and Richardsons Pamela. Male privilege exists today but the kind of hardcore misogyny has long since ebb in the general culture. When Mr. Pinchwife said Write as I bid you, or I will write whore with this penknife in your face.(Wycherley) to his wife I could not help but wince at that scene. Comedy aside its battery be it fictitious or not the very idea of scaring your wifes face to make a point is horrid. But that is a modern day sentiment. I have the weight and awareness of one plus century in suffrage-feminist movement to call upon. Choosing a woman from the country, Mr. Pinchwife believed that her naivet would be a deterrent to debauchery. A female character generalization that spoke more on Mr. Pinchwifes limited intuition and on sexist segregation. Gender hierarchy in 18th century England places the husband as patriarch, a role assumed primarily because of religious dictum. God and nature were seen as order only with a man at the top. Women as it were continued to be the vassal of chastity. Social worth for the fairer sex meant being a commodity. Elizabethans and Jacobeans period produce a great number of how to domestic manuals. William Gouge wrote Of Domestical Duties in 1622, John Dod & Robert Cleaver published A Godly Form

Blanca 3 of Household Government and the granddaddy of them all A Brief and Pleasant Discourse of Duties in Marriage by Edmond Tilney published 1568. While these works were used as serious extrinsic canons for domestic bliss, Defoe, Wycherley, and Richardson produce something intrinsically human. Something Dod and Cleaver acknowledges when they wrote, For although the husband shall have power to force his wife to fear and obey him, yet he shall never have strength to force her to love him. (A Godly Form of Household Government). Mrs. Pinchwife surely fit this quote to a T, having an insecure laggard for a husband only amplified her urges. For Wycherley presented women who wanted something men have always been expected to be, adulterous. Still under the confines of a chauvinistic motif the women of Wycherley acted on lust as would their husband have done in their stead. Mr. Pinchwife indubitably became an effeminate zealot departing from the wanton debauchery expected in men of that era. Behind the gates of the sexual arena is Richardsons Pamela, unlike Mrs. Pinchwife, Pamelas intuitive wiles marketed her virtue to great fortune. Pamelas humble birth denotes a cognizance in respect to what aristocrats are allowed to get away with. A consternation her parents wrote out in the second letter, Indeed, indeed, my dearest child, our hearts ache for you; and then you seem so full of joy at his goodness, so taken with his kind expressions, (which, truly, are very great favours, if he means well) that we fear--yes, my dear child, we fear--you should be too grateful,--and reward him with that jewel, your virtue, which no riches, nor favour, nor any thing in this life, can make up to you.. (Pamela, letter two) The entire novel wraps around the pretense of an act the gist of which is laughable in contemporary times. The great moral allegory is of course sex before marriage something colluding the female perspective. Women taking pleasure in sex was something near taboo, and the only gain is retaining as much as a woman can for his pleasure. Which Pamela did, as the archetypical gold-digger! Be it by blind lust in Mrs. Pinchwife or cleaver gain by Pamela no other character in English literature embodied both women and more, than Defoes Moll Flanders. In

Blanca 4 saying, But there are temptations which it is not in the power of human nature to resist, and few know what would be their case if driven to the same exigencies. As covetousness is the root of all evil, so poverty is, I believe, the worst of all snares. But I waive that discourse till I come to an experiment. (Defoe chapter 38), Moll Flanders personifies the garish enterprise that would push women away from male bondage. To tame Moll a man would have to earn that right not Gods, not the social moral code but her own. Like Pamela Moll knew of her womanly wiles, and she uses it to great effect. Like Mrs. Pinchwife she also find basic lustful pleasures in men and saw nothing penitent about it. A no excuse attitude towards fortune and sex signals the beginning of the forthcoming sexual norms. Moll is a slut, a whore, a mother, a wife, a gentlewoman, a thief, and the culminating adjunct to women liberation. What ceded the allegory is the very heart of these women came from their male creators. It could have been a whim to add such male traits to female characters. The idea that women could have the same desire as men, and could pursue them in the same vigor were spot-on. Its as if Defoe, Wycherley, Richardson stood alongside an operating table and constructed the modern woman from bits of sexist lore.

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Works Cited Defoe, Daniel. Moll Flanders: The Fortunes And Misfortunes Of The Famous Moll Flanders CreateSpace 2009 unabridge Wycherley, William. The Country Wife 1675 Richardson, Samuel. Pamela or Virtue Rewarded 1740 van Deven, Mandy. "IS FEMINISM MEN'S? WORK, TOO." Herizons 23.2 (2009): 1621. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 24 Mar. 2010.