Feminist Ideals in Woman on the Edge of Time Essay

786 Words 4 Pages
Feminist Ideals in Woman on the Edge of Time

Marge Piercy's Woman on the Edge of Time is a dichotomy of two worlds: one utopic and one distopic. Although the world of the future is utopic in many senses, e.g. Marxist, environmentalist, etc., Piercy seems to especially focus on feminist issues. The two main characters, Connie and Luciente, are both women, and are both products of their respective societies. It is through these two characters that Piercy reveals not only extrinsic societal features, but also those that are only apparent in the bearing they have on individual social character. As both characters are women (by Piercy's choice), it is not odd that Piercy focuses on female issues. Piercy uses the two women as windows to
…show more content…
She wants to be in a traditional role because "married to Martìn . . . she had been proud . . . Martìn's love had given her worth." (Piercy, 237), managing the household. In many ways the mental institution is a reflection of women's lives – they are trapped, helpless.

In stark contrast to Connie's world is Luciente's feminist Utopia. Here men and women are equal in almost every way, i.e. political, economic, social, sexual, and even biological in some ways. The language of the future reflects this equality. "He and "she" have been replaced with the pronoun "person" and "his" and "hers" replaced by the possessive pronoun "per." The language, as well as the androgynous nature of the society and people, places emphasis on the feminist ideal of eliminating gender separations in favor of recognizing common humanity. In the future, women have gained independence from the things that stifle them in Connie's world: men, children, and family. Everyone has their own "space," free from everyone else. Men share the burden of "mothering" fully and machines have taken the burden of birthing and gestation. In fact, machines seem to have replaced women in tasks that are traditionally feminine. There are machines for birthing and gestation, dishwashing, and manual, repetitive labor (like the box factory). The Marxists feminists would say that machines have replaced the female proletariat, allowing women to rise to the

Related Documents