• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Zeena and Mattie, portraits of antifeminist characters in Edith Whartons Ethan Frome

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Zeena and Mattie, portraits of antifeminist characters in Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome When she wrote Ethan Frome, Edith Wharton used her pen rather than her fist to reflect her feminist values. In the novel, Ethan Frome written by Edith Wharton, feminist ideals, principles, and problems are demonstrated in the societal dictations that shape the lives of the characters, the pitting of a woman against a woman, and Wharton's strangely antifeminist characters. Several societal concepts such as these combined to bring Mattie into the Frome household; the idea that a woman should not be allowed to work alone to support herself, the gap left in a home when there is no female figure to fill the domestic role or the female figure is incapable of fulfilling her role, as Zeena was unable to do. ...read more.

Middle

By working against one another, Mattie and Zeena are working for men's expectations: that they will simply care for the man of the house, rely on him completely, while they have nothing of their own and nothing that they do simply for themselves. In the novel, Ethan spends all day working on the farm and bringing in the money to run the household. While he is gone, Mattie cooks his meals and does other household chores but is essentially just sitting around waiting for him to return. As a character, Zeena is strangely antifeminist due to her insistence on work being done for her because she believes that she is too weak of body and mind to do it herself. ...read more.

Conclusion

As a person, Mattie is incomplete in herself: she has earned nothing in her life except for the love of a man who can never be hers. Edith Wharton created antifeminist characters and by having those characters fail, she is able to express her message of independence leading to happiness, something that none of her characters achieved. In the feminist view, women should all be working together, helping each other out, as they are working towards the same goals. Instead of striving towards similar goals or attempting to further the position of the other, Zeena and Mattie continually beat each other down, in that quiet, manipulative way that women often do. Mattie acquires the love of Zeena's husband, which causes Zeena to expel Mattie from her house and send her away. From a feminist perspective, Mattie and Zeena are fighting over that which they should be fighting against, not only society but also a man. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level General Studies section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level General Studies essays

  1. Compare and contrast the roles of Napoleon and Snowball in shaping the social structure ...

    Secondly, things started to gradually change for the worst. Napoleon and the pigs were breaking all of the seven commandments but the others didn't have much objection because they were too uneducated to really know what was going on. Snowball had proclaimed the seven commandments in order to adjust equality,

  2. Report: Charity Event for Cancer Research UK

    This benefited individual performances because it helps the group to identify their own strengths and weaknesses, where the team can prioritise the group team consistency and help people getting along (Outward Bound Trust, 2007). CONCLUSION: Overall, an evaluation of this charity event must take place, in order for improvements to be made in the future.

  1. Women, Men and Politeness

    One of the main differences is language or choice of words difference. On the 7th of November, I went to Topshop in Oxford Circus and approached one of the sales assistant and asked her about the price of a shirt, she asked me to go to the "Till" but i

  2. First Love - Love Poetry Coursework

    ways, and is wanted for all kind of things, like a woman to be a slave, or a servant to her husband who has the power to own her and do as he pleases.

  1. The role of women compared to the role of men in Draculas Guest and ...

    would have sprung on me like a tigress, certain of taking me unprepared. (104) Stoker compares an old woman to a tigress who would take him unprepared which only puts stronger emphasis that all types of women are dangerous. "Fear of women is never far from the surface of his novels" (Arata 214).

  2. Different Wars, Similar Outcome

    This happier reality of war is portrayed in The Wars through Robert and his desire to go to war, thinking it was an escape. "Robert envied him because he could go away when this was over and surround himself with space."

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work