The Changes In The Role Of Women Throughout Different Eras

1834 words - 8 pages

The role of women changes tremendously throughout several eras. Women in the Puritan era are restricted to most rights in which men have, while women in the 1920s are more independent and rebellious against communal standing. In the Puritan era, the rights of women are from dreadfully restrictive to none. Puritan women are personified to be women who continually do what they are told, otherwise known as being “the good wife.” Later in the Victorian era, women began to feel imprisoned because they have such limited rights, more freedom than those of the Puritans, however. Women in the Victorian era start to explore their sexuality and share it; for example, prostitutes become popular in this time period. In the 1920’s, women give a new name to themselves by completely separating from the role of the loyal wife, completely embracing their sexuality and not afraid to flaunt it. Thus, from the early Puritan era to the 1920’s, women progressively transform from wallflowers to self-advocates and attain a stronger social position in a world dominated by man through acquiring the freedom to express their sexuality, expand feminist ideas, and provide stability for economic equality. This revolution is evident in The Crucible, The Yellow Wallpaper, and The Great Gatsby.
In the Puritan era, women cannot express themselves or have any rights or equality amongst men. Men in Puritan times do not view women as equals, consequently giving women less rights than men. Giles Corey from The Crucible by Arthur Miller believes that women should not develop their own thoughts because, according to Corey and other Puritan men, women’s thoughts are unintelligent and, therefore, dangerous. Corey shares this idea by saying, “Martha, my wife. I have walked at night many a time and found her in a corner, readin’ a book. Now what do you make of that?” (Miller 37). Corey, resembling the other men of the Puritan era, discriminates against women. They view women as less than equal to themselves, deciding women should not develop their own thoughts or project their own voice. Women during this time period also did not have the sexual freedom that is undeniably evident in the modern eras. In The Crucible, John Proctor cheats on his wife with Abigail Williams, but Williams desires to be with him, so she has no problem with Proctor cheating on his wife so that they can have a relationship. Proctor, however, does not want the affair to continue, so Abigail proclaims to him, “I have a sense for heat, John, and yours has drawn me to my window, and I have seen you looking up, burning in your loneliness,” and Proctor responds with, “I may thing of you softly from time to time. But I will cut off my hand before I’ll ever reach for you again. Wipe it out of mind” (Miller 21-22). In the modern eras, it is a more common practice to have an affair with a married individual, but in the Puritan era, it is a rare practice that is highly frowned upon. Women did not have the sexual freedom that...

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