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Women in Dracula, A Street Car Named Desire and Birthday Letters

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Introduction

In the three texts the characters that are presented as 'new women' are also presented with a downfall, those who are presented as traditional women are seen to survive and do well. Within the three texts, Dracula, A Street Car Named Desire and Birthday Letters, the authors present the female characters within certain ways which allow us as the audience to look closely at the battle of equality between men and women and the rise of feministic views. However the battle isn't always apparent and some female characters allow themselves to be the inferior characters compared to the male characters who take on dominant roles within their relationships. Within the three texts a downfall of death is presented, this is always presented to those women who are presented as New Woman. Feminism - 'is a movement for social, cultural, political and economic equality of men and women. It is a campaign against gender inequalities and it strives for equal rights for women.'1 Within the three texts we are presented with many female character types, A Street Car Named desire, allows its audience to compare and contrast its female characters. We are presented with Blanche who is on first appearances seen as a New woman ( A women of the late 19th century actively resisting traditional controls and seeking to fill a complete role in the world2) she lives by herself, has no male role controlling her life and makes her own decisions, however it isn't too much later that we ...read more.

Middle

Here, the count voices a male fantasy that has existed since Adam and Eve were turned out of Eden - that women's ungovernable desires leave men poised for a costly fall from grace. Women through out Dracula are shown as something that men own and something that can be used as a bargaining tool. Blanche like the female characters within Dracula is also presented as a object by Stanley when he attacks her, however when Blanche is with Mitch alone he treats her in a way that she expects as a New Woman 'Can I-uh-kiss you-good night?'5 with dignity and respect, this isn't however carried through out the whole novel. Blanche doesn't accept males help through out the play and tries to hide the things that she has done before, this adds to her downfall which allows her to become more and more depressed and pushing towards her downfall. Which we can also assume this happens to Plath, Hughes talks of their past and their lives together, this allows us as the audience to know what events happened to add to Plath's depression and her death. Looking at other sources we find out that 'Ted Hughes, had left her for another woman'6which then pushes Plath to her suicide. This goes against the idea that the Downfall of woman is due to woman being post feminist woman. The three texts all see big punishment for its three leading ladies, this influences them in many ways and pushes them all towards their deaths. ...read more.

Conclusion

Yet, the alternative Blanche proposes-contacting Shep Huntleigh for financial support-still involves complete dependence on men. When Stella chooses to remain with Stanley, she chooses to rely on, love, and believe in a man instead of her sister. Williams does not necessarily criticize Stella-he makes it quite clear that Stanley represents a much more secure future than Blanche does. Five: contextual information linking to the authors and the characters. The decade in which Stoker wrote and published Dracula was one of the unprecedented anxiety and uncertainty about the social roles, sexual nature and natural spheres of activity of men and women. As many women fought for a larger role in public life and a bigger challenge towards the traditions that define women as being, passive, domestic and naturally submissive, the debate opened to men and the males natural role. while Victorian feminists advanced on previous male preserves, crossing boarders and redefining categories, the more conservative press reacted by reiterating gender normalities, insisting that the essential differences between the sexes and their separate duties. Stoker deliberately located the gothic horror of Dracula in the late nineteenth century world of technological advances, gender instability and the rapid increase in conversation. Mina Travels with a portable typewriter which presents her with power and knowledge of a skill such as writing, which today we take for granted. 1 http://www.rise-of-womanhood.org/Definition-of-feminism.html - accessed 31/01/2012 2 http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/new%20woman - Accessed 31/01/2012 3 Dracula. 4 Ted Hughes, Birthday Letters, Faber and Faber 1998. 5 A Street Car Named Desire, 6 http://www.observer.com/1998/04/ted-hughes-avoids-the-subject-in-birthday-letters/ accessed 31/01/2012 7 Dracula- Page 51 8 pg 51 9 page 55 ...read more.

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