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The Waiting Years: a deconstruction of the angel in the house. In The Waiting Years, Enchi employs and deconstructs this ideal image of the perfect woman, through the consciousness and actions of Suga, Tomo and Miya. and its relevance in society

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Introduction

The Waiting Years: a deconstruction of the angel in the house and its relevance in society The angel in the house is a popular idealization of the female in a patriarchal society. Under this model, women often strive to be young, lovely, virtuous, passive and confined within the domestic sphere; finding happiness and fulfillment in being the object of man's desire, thereby perpetuating the chauvinistic values that the patriarchal society embraces. In The Waiting Years, Enchi employs and deconstructs this ideal image of the perfect woman, through the consciousness and actions of Suga, Tomo and Miya. Each plays the role of being the Angel in the House to a certain degree, in outward appearance and conduct. Collectively however, they each personify and reveal fundamental flaws in this construct that serve to gradually convince the reader of its irrelevance in society. ...read more.

Middle

and we read how "[s]he felt quite clearly that she would never have been a devil had she not been trapped in her present surroundings(121). Perhaps the most shocking of all descriptions will be that Suga is still 'half a child' (27); the angel in the house in society is supposed to be pure, but this aspect itself proved to be an anomaly; we realize that the ideal is nothing but a 'child-woman' (138). Appearing as an adult, Enchi reveals how Suga is 'the child-wife that lurked inside the older woman' (152), effectively commenting upon the effects of appearance; thereby deconstructing the angel in the house. An intended concubine, she was initiated into womanhood at a tender age of twelve by Yukitomo, suffering from hemorrhoids as a result which disables her ability to bear children. ...read more.

Conclusion

Miya in the representation of the invalid of the model, deconstructing the concept to bits. She is the direct opposite of the patriarchal ideal;Tomo exchanged a few words ...with some businessmen's wives of her acquintance', 'had to call at an agent's house about raising the land rent on their estate at Kodemmacho' (145)The reputation of the Shirakawa family that she had always hugged (147)-all these shows how Enchi deconstructed the angel in the house. Hence, in the complex set of domestic relationships...Yokitomo was the absolute authority in the Shirakawa household, that Tomo was in the position of a manager with few close ties with her husband, and that Suga and the grandson Takao were the true objects of Y's affection (136). In this deconstruction, we note the flaws and shortcomings of this ideal. Word Count: 805 ...read more.

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