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paper 2 com 5 - Pinder 1 Darren Pinder COM 005 Fairy Tales...

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Darren Pinder COM 005 Fairy Tales and Fables Paper #2 November 23, 2009 Male Dominance in Fairy Tales “Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail, no one will say, ‘She doesn't have what it takes.’ They will say, ‘Women don't have what it takes’.”--Clare Boothe Luce. Gender relations have remained somewhat unchanged in regards to women being viewed as subordinates to their male counterparts. Women are expected to be obedient to their husbands in every aspect of the relationship. Stereotypes of women consist of cooking, cleaning, rearing children, sexual obedience, as well as having a lower social status than men. These views have been exhibited in literature for hundreds of years in works such as The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream . In “The Franklin’s Tale”, “The Wife of Bath’s Tale”, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream we see gender relationships where women rely on men for everything and are subordinates in terms of status and decision making in their respective relationships. “The Franklin’s Tale” is from Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales . It tells the story of love between a knight (Arveragus) and a beautiful maiden (Dorigen) as well as their ordeal with a squire (Aurelius). There are many “anti-feminist” themes in this story. Arveragus and Dorigen decide that their marriage should be one of equality, however there is a slight hitch in their decision. Women were not considered on a equal level with men. It says, “…except that he wanted to have the title of sovereignty: that he wanted for the sake of the dignity of his Pinder 1
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position.”(Line 23-24). In essence, this knight basically lied to the society around him in order to hide their marriage. Making it seem as though Arveragus made all the decisions for his household helped to disguise the true meaning of their relationship. Another theme present is that women need men and love in order to be happy. Arveragus decides one day to go to Britain in order to gain honor, leaving Dorigen behind. She becomes so depressed by his absence that her friends cannot even console her. Her
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