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A Critical Analysis of the Husbands' Authoritarian Perception About Their Wives as Babies Incapable of Walking the Path of Life - Research Paper Example

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Both Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” and Chopin’s “Desiree’s Baby” deal with the patriarchal perception of a woman as a petulant child that can be pampered,chastised and even be physically forced to follow the guidance of their male counterparts…
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A Critical Analysis of the Husbands Authoritarian Perception About Their Wives as Babies Incapable of Walking the Path of Life
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"A Critical Analysis of the Husbands' Authoritarian Perception About Their Wives as Babies Incapable of Walking the Path of Life"

Download file to see previous pages These authors attempt to propound that the social institutions of marriage and family are structured in such a patriarchal manner that these institutions themselves advocates for the husbands’ superiority perpetuating the inferiority and subservience of the wives. In such patriarchy-shaped institution, even the most passionate relationship allows little scopes for the women to have their ‘say’, since male-lust and carnal hungers remain disguised under the facades of love and passion. Both Gilman and Chopin’s are loved, and then toyed as a petulant baby that is capable of nothing, but of creating childish nuisance for their husbands. Both Desiree’s and the protagonist of Gilman’s story husbands appear to be authoritarian patriarchal figures that strictly exert their restrictive authority over their wives. The slight difference between Armand’s (Desiree’s husband) and John’s (Jane’s husband) authorities is that whereas John’s sincere restriction imposed upon Jane pushes her towards horrible psychological transformation, Armand abandons Desiree considering her as a sex-machine that has failed to produce his desired result. Like most other feminists in the 19th Century Gilman attempts to dig up the root of patriarchy built in the familiar structure of the social institution of family. Indeed Gilman has challenged this patriarchal attitude towards women as a child with psychological deficits. Thrailkill Fagan Jane notes that Gilman’s story originates in her own experience as he says, “the real purpose of the story was to reach Dr. S. Weir Mitchell [Gilman’s husband], and convince him of the error of his ways” (47). In the very first place she has put the traditional husband-wife relationship in the conventional marital institution, into question, which is commonly acknowledged as healthy and hailed as the safest place for women after their marriage. In the story, Gilman propounds that a type of superiority complex of the patriarchal authority of the male dominated society lies in there beneath this apparently universal aspect of a husband’s love or care for his wife. Scrutinizing John’s (a proper noun denoting commonly the male counterpart of a marital bond) caring activities from a woman’s perspective, she rather vindicates that women like Jane are not active and equal participants in the love-game with their husbands like John. In most cases, women are no match for their male counterparts in this husband-wife love game. Rather they are considered as the most delicate, the weakest, the most fragile and incapable of walking through the path of life on their own; therefore like a baby, they are to be tended delicately, to be cosseted and pampered by their husbands. Gilman further shows that such love and care of a husband, indeed, linger a woman’s inferiority in her household by delaying her maturity. In cases it deteriorates a woman’s psychological condition often pushing her to the verge of insanity. But in the “Desiree’s Baby” Chopin has approached towards the traditional concept of love and passion between a husband and a wife from a different angle. For her, the terms “love” and “passion” are ultimately the productions, of patriarchy, which are intended to keep the male-lust and male-desire under the mask of euphemism. In the traditional husband-wife relationship, love is ultimately means of male exploitation. (Wolff 45-46) But this love, the mask of male-lust, gets dissolved when confronted with major choices of life. First Armand ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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