Feminist Criticism Essay

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Feminist Criticism

Contemporary feminist criticism focuses on various specified topics such as women’s biographical writings, lesbian and literature, and the role of film and the media in portraying feminine gender. It is no longer easily separated into categorical goals by nationalities or land boundaries. Instead, feminist criticism is now characterized according to whether the category of "woman" is the major focus, or whether gender identity is defined by sexual and other identities as well. These other differences include, but are not limited to, cultural identities as a woman, lesbian writings, sexual preference, and religious differences.

Most feminist critics today stress the fact that while all women are female, they are
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Her animality is all there is; it is not worth examining a woman’s moral or spiritual qualities because she has none that are available to either correction or representation by husband or storyteller. (225)
By stating the previous idea, she expresses that Alisoun is objectified. Through that objectification, the choice, not the object [Alisoun] is punished (225).

Not only is Alisoun free from punishment through that objectification, but she is also removed from the focus of Nicholas, Absolon, and her husband John. Their focus is diverted from Alisoun and turned to rivalry among themselves. Hansen elaborates with further detail by stating

Nicholas and Absolon compete with each other and with John for sexual access to Alisoun, and, true to type, the male rivals actually demonstrate less interest in the female object of their alleged desire than in their own gender and class identity and hence their relations to each other in a closed sphere of male objectivity. (228)
Obviously they are simply worried about their manliness. In working toward the conclusion of her essay, Tuttle references line 3850 of the tale--"Thus swyved was this carpenteris wyf"--and further explains by stating
Nature’s female has suddenly become the grammatical object of the verb and a nameless possession of her husband in a way that does not seem to reflect what we saw earlier of
Alisoun anymore than it supports a reading of her as "triumphant."(235)

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