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Advancements Of Female Responsibilities In The Yellow Wallpaper And Medea

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As time evolves, society is forcing itself to create certain gender roles in civilization. While many people argue to disagree with this, certain individuals believe they subside today because, usually, in an ancient Greek household, the woman will cook, clean, and watch over the children while the man of the household was working. Even if these roles are on a lower scale today, they usually have matching meanings with gender roles long-ago. Nowadays, females are becoming doctors, can vote, and are becoming candidates for president. This is a big upgrade from years ago where women were forced to be under constant pressure by their husbands and practically couldn’t live their own lives. This is demonstrated on multiple occurrences in Charlie Perkin’s, The Yellow Wallpaper, and Medea by Euredipes.

In Charlie Perkin Gilman’s, The Yellow Wallpaper, gender roles are opened up to the reader almost instantly as, John, the narrator’s husband is a doctor which advocates those gender roles are most likely very severe. The story quite obviously puts the narrator in a second-class rather than uniform terms with the husband. As John strikes a dialogue with the narrator, he often refers to her with “childish names,” most of the time sounding like she is property to him: “He took me in his arms and called me a blessed little goose” (Gilman 2). To go along with that, in the confined resort, her momentary mental state goes to the bad side of things. Living in a male-dominated society, a female’s job is to never inquiry upon the jurisdiction of the male, no matter the severity. This is the opposite of a male’s role in judgment, decision making, thinking, and not be interrogated by the wife. The narrator is regularly trying to scamper away from the mental lockdown that her husband is settling her in, while she is suffering from a bad case of depression. This is even harder, as she is constantly being treated like an infant. This is an impossible escape, as the male is the dominating gender in this scenario, and women are to never set boundaries for men.

This exact topic is ongoing in Medea written by Euredipes. The common setting is a male-dominated society where Medea, the main character is abandoning her role as a female and pushes to show how society doesn’t value what females can do. Instead of Medea using the female role in the story, she brings out masculine traits like killing. Medea brings empowerment to the female world by killing her children, while this is a trait of a man. Along with this, Medea can be physically, and emotionally controlled the whole time, which is rare if you are a female. This story is entirely different than most, because at times Medea completely is separating herself from her gender role to show that women can be stronger than men at times and she would rather rebel against society than be treated as property: “I’d rather stand my ground three times among the shields than face a childbirth once” (Euripides 31). This demonstrates Medea’s “masculine” qualities, rejecting the traditions of society.

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Similar to Medea, The Wife of Bath’s Tale focuses on the empowerment of women, rather than the roles that are pre-assigned to them. The Wife of Bath is revoked the role of a traditional woman (sewing, cooking, cleaning, stay-at-home). We see the main character, the Wife of Bath interweaving herself into a lifestyle that would usually only be seen in a male’s life, traveling, businesswoman. Like Medea, she challenges herself to adapt to the opposite of gender roles to show what women are capable of. This is possible because not only is the Wife of Bath being fueled by independence, she also is being empowered by going against stereotypes. This is what makes the Wife of Bath a fighter, pushing gender roles aside, and outrageous contradictory degrees. She explains being married to rich men that support her is reversing gender roles, which allows her to travel the world anywhere she wants, as an independent woman.

Best Man Wins, by Fredrick Watermans, is about a woman who is married to one man, and the other man, she is cheating on her husband with. The main character gets to decide which man she wants to be with as it all unravels on a plane. At the restaurant when food is served, Carolyn’s husband decides to put poison in the cheaters food in order to kill him so that Carolyn will be forced to stay married to him: “I studied my wife’s face, the face I wanted to see every day for the rest of my life” (Waterman 5). Afterward, he lets his wife decide if she would like to be with him. This is extremely important because, in this scenario, Carolyn is empowered to the fact that she is the decision-maker that balances the power between the two of them bringing them even closer than before.

Sonnets, by Shakespeare, are compelling works of poetic art that depicts very depressed toned pieces where the features of the woman are not up to par, but Shakespeare disregards this, as they are still soulmates. This is strange because, on multiple occurrences, Shakespeare does not like the physical attributes of his significant other, and judges her based on her looks. At the end of this all, Shakespeare is still in love with his significant other even if she doesn’t look good: “In black ink, my love may still shine bright” (Shakespeare 130). In this sonnet, Shakespeare takes control of his wife in a manipulative manner, and he makes her feel insecure by judging her physical attributes, which gives him full control and power in the situation. This leaves the woman in a sticky situation, as she has no voice, or say in anything.

As time has evolved, society has forced itself to create certain gender roles in civilization. While many people argue to disagree with this, lots of people believe they exist today. Women are classified in a lower category than men, but nowadays, women are empowering themselves to a higher ranking in society than they came in with. This is a major turn in society as women can live their lives without constant pressure from their husbands.While select individuals argue to disagree with this, lots of people believe they subside today.

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Advancements Of Female Responsibilities In The Yellow Wallpaper And Medea. (2022, Jun 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 24, 2023, from
“Advancements Of Female Responsibilities In The Yellow Wallpaper And Medea.” Edubirdie, 29 Jun. 2022,
Advancements Of Female Responsibilities In The Yellow Wallpaper And Medea. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 24 Sept. 2023].
Advancements Of Female Responsibilities In The Yellow Wallpaper And Medea [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 29 [cited 2023 Sept 24]. Available from:
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