The Role of Women Essay

“American literature is male. To read the canon of what is presently considered authoritative American literature is perforce to place as male ; Our literature neither leaves adult females entirely nor allows them to take part. ” Judith Fetterley ( Walker. 171 ) The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a fresh about male childs and for male childs. As the name says. there are “adventures” . male childs like escapades. non ladies. The function of the adult females in the American literature has been ever victim of sexism and favoritism. There are ever work forces who play the chief function.

We can see that in Ulysses. by James Joice ( 1922 ) ; Moby Dick by Herman Melville ( 1815 ) or The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald ( 1925 ) . In the old work of Mark Twain. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer ( 1876 ) . there are a clear division between work forces and adult females excessively. The chief adult females in Huck’s life all fulfill the same basic function. seeking to “civilize” Huck – all without success. This sexual favoritism is based on being the physically weaker gender and therefore taking to society’s negative position of adult females.

In chapter XI. Huck tried to seems a miss and enter to a small hovel to speak to a 40 old ages old adult female to acquire some information about what was go oning in St. Petersburg in his absence. The lady discovered that he was a male child for different grounds. The most of import thing is what she said to him: “when you set out to weave a needle don’t hold the yarn still and bring the acerate leaf up to it ; keep the needle still and poke the yarn at it ; that’s the manner a adult female most ever does. but a adult male ever does t’other manner.

And when you throw at a rat or anything. enlistment yourself up a tiptoe and bring your manus up over your caput every bit awkward as you can. and lose your rat about six or seven pes. ” Womans are supposed to be who take attention about kids and house. non to be strong or agile. This is a platitude really used in the American literature. However. there are many female characters in the novel and we can split them into those who are caretakers and those who are to the full dependants. The Women’s function can be independent and self-sufficing when she is an single character. while adult females in groups seem to be lower than work forces.

The single adult females. such as the Aunts. Miss Watson. and Widow Douglas. were all self-sufficing. difficult working adult females. They were all educated. and have high morels. None of them could easy be scammed ; although Aunt Sally was mislead. she questioned the actions of Huck and Tom. On the other manus. Womans in groups were portrayed as simple. unwise and excessively trusting. The Wilks sisters. Joanna. Susan and Mary Jane. when their male parent died. set entire trust on their uncles. who were two con work forces seeking to take advantage of them. Adequate trust to give the uncles all their money to be invest.

They were dependent because they had ne’er been without who protect them and hold no manner of cognizing what to make in that sort of state of affairs. In chapter XIIX we have a clear illustration of how dependent can be adult females in the novel. but at the same point the disclosure of one of them. Sophia merely run off with Harney Shepherdson. and everyone is looking for them. Huck ask to an slave and he said: “De adult females folks has gone for to stir up de dealingss. en ole Mars Saul en de boys tuck dey guns en rode up de river route for to seek to ketch digital audiotape immature adult male en kill him ‘fo’ he kin git acrost de river wid Miss Sophia.

” As we can detect in this citation. adult females are useless ; they merely run looking for aid. while work forces are who defend the house and make the difficult work. But non everything is bad for adult females in the book. They are supposed to be the one who bear the kids and who teach them good manners. We can see it through Widow Douglas and Miss Watson ; both are the caretakers of Huck. and the 1s who try to educate him. Miss Watson is what an old lady looks like in this period. the image of what they stand for.

She is described by Huckleberry in chapter I as “a tolerable slender old amah. with goggles on. had merely come to populate with her. and took a set at me now with a spelling-book. She worked me middling difficult for about an hr. and so the widow made her easiness up. I couldn’t stood it much longer. ” By ‘widow’ he refers to her sister Widow Douglas. they both live together as old solitaries and. in some manner. down ladies do in this period. But in the instance of Douglas. she was gentler with childs. Couple shows her as how work forces what ladies to be.

This is the ground why Douglas was married but non Miss Watson. and she was seeing as an old amah. Douglas was respected by Huck because of her soft manus ; he ever worries if she will be disappointed in his behaviour. Her chief maps are to do a spiritual immature adult male of him and educate him. Nothing else could be expected out of a adult female. particularly a widow. she has no adult male to see after her. Possibly these thoughts of the function of adult females that Twain attempts to stand for in the book. are based on his personal experiences.

If we take a expression into his personal life. his married woman Olivia Clemens was really much like Sally Phelps. She was dependent on her hubby and served with no other true intent in life than to run a house and bear kids. Sally is a really good illustration of the archetypal homemaker. She is the married woman of Silas Phelps and Tom Sawyer’s aunt. and she is wholly dependent of her hubby. In the novel. The Phelps plays the function of the typical household. Sally does what the typical homemaker would make.

Couple comments her weakness in chapter XXXII when her hubby asks her who is the male child who has in her custodies. and she said: “‘Who do you think ‘t is? ’ ‘I hain’t no thought. Who IS it? ’‘It’s TOM SAWYER! ’ By jings. I most slumped through the floor! ” She can non acknowledge her ain nephew. Probably. Sally Phelps depicts what mean adult females were like. she is married and wholly helplessness in their relationship because at that clip adult females had no rights. and were wholly inferior to the work forces who controlled the society.

Helplessness in adult females is besides seen in the old book of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. in the function of Becky Thatcher. Through the novel. we can see that adult females were nil particular at this clip. or at least. this is the manner how society views them. A batch of stereotypes appear during the whole novel. caused by the absence of rights and other jobs that adult females had to endure by this clip. Thankfully this will alter in the hereafter with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou ( 1969 ) or The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver ( 1988 ) . both with a adult female as the chief character.


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