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Title: Feminism from Male and Female Perspectives: Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre and Samuel Richardson's Pamela Case Study
Authors: Ilhem Lahrache Dallal Mekhiber
Issue Date: 2-Dec-2014
Abstract: In the last 18th and the early of the19th centuries, married woman legally had no civil status, was civilly considered dead in a male dominated society, but single woman had legal minors. Therefore, in the end of the19th century, feminism emerged as a reaction against the women’s oppression. It was presented in various eras, where numerous feminine movements were blowing up all over the world. Feminism was defined as a great movement which appeared in three waves, each wave treated different aspects of the same issue; suffrage association, inequalities of rules and civil laws, all were general and broad, but they were the basics of feminism. Absolutely, feminism, in its larger meaning, didn’t touch only a political or social side, in fact, it also extended to the literary world. Actually, many artists, playwrights, and novelists, used their feminist writings as an effective means to express their view towards sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression. For instance, in Britain, many feminist writers clearly defined feministic emotions which can be drawn, not only in the works of modern time, but even in earlier one. One of the early nineteenth-century finest English books was Jane Eyre (1847) by the feminist female novelist of Charlotte Bronte. According to her experience as a Victorian woman in men-centered and men-controlled times, Charlotte refused to stay silent; she stood up strongly and declared her protest and her advocacy women’s equal rights in social, political and economic arenas against Victorian male society. Thus, most regarded the feminist book of Jane Eyre as one greatest novel in the history of English literature. However, under the common notion of “feminism is for everyone”, any writer, who encourages the idea of women’s rights, can be as a feminist writer. Not surprisingly, male can ever truly be a feminist author, but his requirements, for being a masculine feminist writer, must be the same as those for feminine writers, or to be better than them. Among many earlier feminist male writers, who were so sympatric for women’s oppression, was called Samuel Richardson. Because of his feminist attitude, Richardson could be as a great Augustan male feminist novelist in the strictest sense of the word. Richardson became the preeminent Augustan novelist, his feminist view was hotly discussed, especially his first eighteenth-century book of Pamela or, virtue rewarded (1740), where he prepared himself to stand up, side by side with Charlotte, against social classes, sexual inequality and women’s oppression
Appears in Collections:Faculté des Lettres et des Langues FLL

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