The feminization Movement

Final Essay
(Topic #4)

Assignment Presented for the Course:
Literary Themes: Art and Society
603-103-04 section
In the winter semester, 2004

Women have always been trapped in a stereotypical world where they are
viewed as being inferior to men. In the last century there has been a
strong feminist movement working to overturn this idea of today’s women.

This hypothesis can be considered in the novel “The Awakening”, written by
Kate Chopin, and also in the film “Thelma and Louise” directed by Ridley
Scott. Both the movie and the novel demonstrate how women are victims of
this patriarchal society we live in and manage quite well to turn many
stereotypes built around them upside down. All three women feel trapped; in
order to free themselves out from this stereotype they revolt against
society, take sacrifices and by overcoming men who is the main obstacle to
their freedom. This is illustrated trough out the film and the novel by the
use, dialogue, images, metaphor and other elements.

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Pressured by a stereotype could easily lead to unusual behaviors and
actions to prove to himself and society that such a generalization should
be associated to him or her, therefore will do anything to prove society
wrong. These women reverse the stereotype that women are weak by breaking
the normal norms of society. Edna Pontellier leaves her husband Lonce and
kids and has an affair. Having an affair with other men in her time was
unacceptable and unspoken therefore she breaks the norm of society. Thelma
commits a crime by robbing a store. Committing a crime coming from a woman
is something that is not accepted by both gender, but from our society’s
point of view, the fact that it is woman is very shocking but also
unacceptable since women are not suppose to be criminals like man. Thelma
has an affair with a handsome young man. This is an unacceptable act in our
society; therefore once again this is another example of women breaking the
norms by revolting against society, “Thelma & Louise, there is still a real
hunger for all of the basic elements of those classic movies of rebellion
against society, but translated this time into women’s term” (Art and
Society, 1991). Since women are often pressured since they are trapped in a
stereotype, they will sometimes do things that are not accepted by society
specially coming from a woman.

In the early 20th century woman had to overcome a main obstacle in
order to gain their freedom. Men were the only thing preventing them of
achieving their goals. Their role was a huge factor in the feminist
revolution. In consequence to men’s behavior, the more pressure women were,
the more aggravated they will become. Lonce Pontellier, Edna’s husband
spends most of his time away from home on business. He is obsessed with
making money and acquiring expensive possessions for his home. Even though
he is extremely nice with her, the fact that he pays more attention to his
business life than his love life, this behavior will lead to Edna’s
rebellion against him. Thelma and Louise get arrested by a cop and by being
wiser, they find a way to lock him up in the trunk of his own car. That
example demonstrates that when men comes to stop a woman that is trying to
achieve her goal of being free, will do anything to overcome that obstacle.

Louise shots a man in the head and kills him in the parking lot because he
tried to rape her friend. In that example we see once again that women that
are trying to be free and running away from their trap lives will do the
extreme thing to overcome whatever comes against them and also demonstrated
as a revenge to men. In Thelma and Louise, in revenge of what women our
days are going trough, they blow up a man’s truck because he was impolite
towards women. “Huge tractor-trailer trucks speed down the high way…These
images make it clear that Thelma and Louise are on the lam in a man’s
world. (Art and Society, 1991). In the three examples given, we can see
that women will do anything to men that will come in her way to stop her.

They are fighting for their freedom against men and will not be stopped in
any way. And even when they come to a dead end, they rather die than
surrender to men.

In revolutionizing any movement, there are always sacrifices that have
to be done in order to reach one’s objective. In this particular movement
women also had their share of sacrifices and consequences in their mission
to prove to society that women are equal to men. Thelma leaves behind her,
her husband and never comes back. This is an example where women sacrifices
her marriage for a specific goal that she is looking forward too; her
freedom. Edna Pontellier leaves her husband and kids and commits suicide.

This portrays quite well that in order to achieve her ultimate goal to be
free she leaves behind her a very important value in life her family. She
wanted to express her right to love another man not her husband and be
finally free by the marriage imposed to her. Thelma and Louise’s jump over
Grand Canyon results in death. In that example we can see that women did
the impossible and the unusual to prove wrong that men are superior and
that they are untouchable. This example once again demonstrates the
consequences that women get just to get out of that trap they are in. All
these examples above are simply to prove that since women are in a society
where they are always judged by men, they will do anything to prove men
that they are as equal as them by sacrificing important things of their
lives. That sacrifice chosen by them will leadthemtoterrible
consequences and in both cases sadly being death.

With his bright use of action and dialogue, visual cues Kate Chopin
and Ridley Scott have convincingly showed us many different aspects of the
feminist revolution. Three of them caught my attention, one being their
attitude toward breaking the laws and norms of society to prove their
point. Second being the role men played with the feminist movement. And
finally being sacrifices and its consequences left behind and its influence
on how they’re perceived by society. These are three of many aspects both
author and writer brought to my attention on how brave women have
revolutionized the path to generation of women to come with a better
quality of life which includes equality and respect.

Works Cited
Chopin, Kate. “The Awakening.” Bantam Classic. New york.1899
King, Deirdre. “Art & Society” Montreal, Qc, 2003.

Thelma ; Louise. Dir. Ridley Scott.Mgm/Ua Studios, 1991. DVD Republic


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