Last Updated 22 Jun 2020

Feminism in Literature

Category literature
Essay type Research
Words 677 (2 pages)
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Feminism is defined as a collection of movements and ideologies that are focused on establishing equal economic, political, and social rights for women. This includes equal employment opportunities for women. There is a big misconception of the feminist movement. A lot of people take a radical approach; they focus on a theory that there is a male supremacy to oppress women.

The radical feminists tend to strive for greater feminine power and deviate from the original concept of feminism that strives for equality. Feminism was first introduced into literature in the nineteenth century. The number of published women authors was greater in the nineteenth century than in any preceding century. Women's access to higher education increased exponentially during the century, providing them with skills that they could use to develop their art.

The growth of market economies, cities, and life expectancies changed how women in Europe and the United States were expected to conform to new social pressures, and made many women more conscious of their imposed social, legal, and political inequality. Many social reform movements led by nineteenth-century women, such as religious revivalism, abolitionism, temperance, and suffrage; gave women writers an audience and a forum in which they could express their views. Before the feminist movement migrated to literature women writers were largely confined into writing children’s poetry and literature.

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Women started migrating and started writing fiction. However the critical reviews of the age pummeled their works for lack of critical judgment and rationality and dismissed their work as being designed for the unrefined taste of women readers. Great novelist like Mary Shelly, George Sand and George Elliot never completely escaped the harsh criticism of their work based only on their gender. The legacy of sexism has been a historic element that helps dismiss the work of many great women writers. Feminist women writers come from all over the world, including Puerto Rico.

Julia de Burgos is a well-known puertorican writer, but Burgos is best known for her feminist poems. Julia de Burgos poetry includes a variety of themes, including an inclination to the erotic and to social activism. Burgos feminist poems present a philosophical view of the role of women in Puerto Rican society. Burgos explores womanhood issues in her efforts to break away from hindering social patterns. Burgos stands out as an early feminist activist at a time when Puerto Rican culture restricted women to the traditional roles of spouse and mother.

Authors of the feminist movement differentiate between gender and sex. They believe the person’s sex is predetermined and natural. Meanwhile the gender has been created by society along with the perception of gender roles. They believe that gender roles can be altered over time. The predominance of one gender of the other is seen in almost every society. The fact that this dominance is not in favor of women is a characteristic of feminist literature. Feminist authors argue that any society that does not provide equal opportunities to both genders is not an unbiased and complete society.

Women in feminist literature are presented as protagonist, who usually does not accept the traditional predetermined roles dictated by society. Feminism in literature is not strictly limited to female writers; an example of this is James Joyce. Joyce’s texts are filled with feminine images. The way Joyce depicts women in his text may be tricky for people who reading his text for the first time. Joyce presents all the sufferings and hardships women go through. In Eveline the narrator talks about talks about a deprived female, referring to Eveline.

Eveline lacks basic things that most people around the world have. For example she didn’t have a happy childhood. When she was playing as a little girl in the field her dad would chase her. In this example we can see the father is a dominant male figure that restricts the female of basic things like playing. Works cited Hudock, Amy, et al. Feminism in Literature. New York: Thomson Gale, 2005. Snodgrass, Mary Ellen. Encyclopedia of Feminist Literature. New York: Facts On File, 2006. Joyce, James. Eveline. N. p. : Pennsylvania State University, 2005.

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Feminism in Literature. (2017, Jul 10). Retrieved from

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