Jessica Danielle Powell's English 170W Blog
The Long Development of a Short Story.
 
 
Annotated Bibliography
Posted on September 17th, 2011 at 7:21 pm by Jessica Danielle Powell and

Larson, Jennifer. “Renovating Domesticity in Ruth Hall, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, and

Our Nig.” Women’s Studies. 38.5 (2008): 538-558. America: History and Life.

Web. 22 November 2011.

Question: What rights did men and women have in society and consequently in a marital relationship in the Late 19th Century? [Why were women subjected to the will of a man?] And why or why not? And how does this support the ultimate and untimely death of a young Mrs. Mallard?

In this essay, Larson uses three different fictional texts that parallel with oppressive social and marital conditions and relationships for Black and White women during the 19th century to examine how oppression can be overcome. Larson states “Domestic discourse [ideals] established men as protectors of the feminine. In pointing to the failure of men or patriarchal institutions to protect, these three women showed that black and white men, rich and poor, were carelessly wielding the power society granted them and that it was the women who were paying the price for this carelessness” (540). This illustrates that the right of a woman was to be under the “protection” a nicer word for oppression of her husband. That her rights and natural freedoms were incased within a small box in the institution of marriage in which the three main characters proved that men were unable to “protect” her freedoms but to control and oppress them.  And because men were unable to protect the rights and freedoms of their wives in society they diminished them in marriage and women were held responsible to suffer because of their husband’s lack of responsibility. Women were the ones that had to pay the price for the inability of a patriarchal society to protect the freedoms of women. Within the same page Larson says that the protagonists of three different texts prove that they are able to find freedom in the work of their own hands and relief from male oppression. From this essay it is safe to say that women had the right to be under the control of the patriarchal society and their husband just like in Kate Chopin’s The Story of An Hour. This essay will assist me not only in answering the question “What rights did men and women have in society and consequently in marital relationships in the 19th Century” but will also help to connect Mrs. Mallards excitement (constant emotional and physical changes) and will to embrace the work of her own hands like the protagonists of the several stories in order to embrace her newfound freedom. Also this essay will support the fact that Mr. Mallard was the one who worked outside of the home in order to not “protect” the rights of his wife but to oppress them. Overall this essay will assist in connecting Mrs. Mallard’s rights as a woman with those of other women in fictional stories during the same time period while illustrating why Mrs. Mallards death was inevitable…because she was unable to embrace the work of her own hands which was her key and lock on her own freedom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ryan, Michael and Ed. Ritzer, George. “Patriarchy.” Encyclopedia of Social Theory 2 (2005):

555-557. Gale Virtual Reference Library.Web. 23 November 2011.

Question: What rights did men and women have in society and consequently in a marital relationship in the Late 19th Century? [Why were women subjected to the will of a man?] And why or why not? And how does this support the ultimate and untimely death of a young Mrs. Mallard?

In this encyclopedia article Michael Ryan discusses Patriarchy and its dominance within society and in the lives of women and their relationships. Ryan explains that women were under the oppression of man or a Patriarchal society because “. . . of the advantages it brings to them [Men]. They are able to use women to pass on their genes, do their household labor, and serve as signifiers of their own social status” (557). In other words, women hold a lot of power in society and in order to keep what men call a “balance” women needed to be put under the control of someone else. Using many different feministic points of view Ryan mentions and explains briefly some of the contributions to the need for men to oppress women which include: the inability of men to birth life into the world and the dependence of growing children on a mothers love and care. Ryan defines Patriarchy as “a system of sex based oppression” (555). This system is well illustrated throughout Kate Chopin’s The Story of an Hour, through Mrs. Mallard’s reaction to her husband’s death and her own death. This encyclopedia article would assist in answering me research question because it explains, in short, how a patriarchal society affects the relationships between women and society, themselves, and their marital relationships.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yarborough, Fay. “Legislating Women’s Sexuality: Cherokee Marriage Laws in the Nineteenth

Century.”Journal of Social History 38.2 (1819-1855): 385-406. America History and Life.

Web. 21 November 2011.

Question for Research: What rights did men and women have in society and consequently in a marital relationship in the Late 19th Century? [Why were women subjected to the will of a man?] And why or why not? And how does this support the ultimate and untimely death of a young Mrs. Mallard?

Yarborough’s journal essay highlights the changes in Cherokee Indian legislation during the 19th Century regarding women and their sexuality and marital status in the region of which is now is Oklahoma (385). Yarborugh states that “Cherokee officials sought to control the marital behavior of Cherokee women because they had the ability to create new, legitimate members of Cherokee society through reproduction and marriage. An examination of Cherokee marriage laws also demonstrates Cherokee attempts to legally distinguish American Indians from people of African descent” (385). Cherokee women in the 19th Century were regarded as very powerful beings because they had control over the stability, growth, and disease immunization of the Cherokee population. Following The Trail of Tears, the American Indian population drastically dwindled due to many American Indians not being immune to new European diseases. The power to save the population was within the sexual behaviors of Cherokee women, by marrying and reproducing with white men they could enable members of the population to not fall victim to European diseases like their ancestors. Before 1825, Cherokee Women were the only members of the Cherokee society that “. . . introduced new people into the nation through marital choices” (387) because in order to be considered a Cherokee Indian you had to be born of a Cherokee woman but, after 1825 White Women who were impregnated by Cherokee men were able to birth “Cherokee” children into the tribe (388). The ability for women to control the population was taken away from them in order to satisfy the needs of the majority. This is a classic example of “minority” rights being engulfed my majorities view.  This article is useful in my final paper because this essay provides evidence as to why women “needed” to be oppressed within society and consequently within their marriages, because of their power. Due to legislation the rights to freely reproduce and solely create members of a society were taken away and consequently led to women’s rights in marital relationships to dwindle because of what the majority felt was necessary. This essay will allow me to draw parallels between the strength and power of the will of Mrs. Mallard and the will of Cherokee women, such as Mrs. Mallards will to beat back the freedom that was heading for her life and the will for Cherokee Women to be able to hold on to their freedom and power within their society. Although Cherokee Women were having their rights taken away and Mrs. Mallard was having her rights given back to her, the acts of giving and taking rights in the same time period can prove to justify why Mrs. Mallard’s died of “joy that kills”. This article can prove that the constant give and take of Mrs. Mallard freedom was the reason why she had no choice but to fall victim to her own heart’s condition.

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