The Wife Of Bath : A Feminist Or Not Essay

889 Words Mar 18th, 2016 4 Pages
When one is debating whether the Wife of Bath is a feminist or not, it is important to take into account her cultural background. She is a woman from the Middle Ages, a period in which women were held to the standard of being a wife, mother, or a nun. Jobs were limited and husbands were often chosen by family members at an early age. It can be argued that the Wife of Bath, known as Alison, is a feminist due to her strength, honesty, and view on an ideal wife or woman. This is crucial because she draws attention and admiration to herself in a period where women were expected to submit to their husbands. In this way, she defends her beliefs and does not hesitate to express her feelings surrounding those beliefs.
In regards to her strength, Alison speaks up for herself without caring what others may think. She simply desires to be treated with respect and love. Although women were expected to submit to their husbands, Alison takes gender equality into consideration and does not tolerate abuse. This is illustrated in her marriage to Jenkin. When Jenkin reads Biblical passages on how a woman should act, Alison gets offended and charges at him. He then hits her and she confronts him. This is described when Chaucer writes:
“And when he saw how still it was I lay, He was aghast, and would have fled away, Till, at last, out of my swoon I awoke/ ‘Oh! Hast Thou slain me, false thief” (699).
Jenkin is full of guilt when she states this and it allows her to have authority over him.…

Related Documents