English428TheCountryWife - Edmund St. Gumdrop English 428...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Edmund St. Gumdrop English 428 Paper 1 We’re All Drunk Anyway: Misogyny and Anti-Feminism in The Country Wife Wycherley’s The Country Wife is chalk full of well-crafted malicious speeches on the nature and position of women; many as would find a good home in Jenkin’s prized possession, the Book of Wicked Wives. Women are compared to spaniels, monkeys, mythic beasts and worse; no great effort is made on the part of the characters to shoot down these assertions. Is The Country Wife an anti-feminist text? The women of the work are uncommonly aggressive and a hold great deal of the cards- is Wycherley showing us the immoral chaos produced by a female-dominated power structure and taking a staunchly anti-feminist perspective? While the manner in which the women of The Country Wife wield their power is far from blameless and the character of women is disparaged by many prominent characters, Wycherley creates an environment where the behavior of women is justified and criticism dubious. There is indeed quite a bit of this criticism. We receive it almost immediately from Horner is as straightforward a manner as possible, who states that Lady Fidget is “a woman, and consequently a monster”. The husbands certainly seem to believe Horner; Sir Jaspar follows nearly all of these statements with a sadistic giggle. However whether or not the audience is intended to believe him is another matter entirely. When Horner first speaks on “women’s evils”, he is instructing his doctor on what to tell the town to make his deception stick; it is obvious that his exaggerated woman-hating is merely part
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
of the trick. Indeed, it becomes so exaggerated as to become humorous, Horner going so far as to say that women are “more mischievious than their monkeys,” and to him “almost as ugly”. Just as the power behind the womens constant barrage of “hated toad”s and other insults is taken away when it becomes apparent that they are sleeping with him, Horner’s misogyny only serves to give the audience a laugh and provide a contrast to the characters who actually seem to take stock in their misogynistic speeches. Indeed, it is through the characters of Sparkish and Pinchwife that Wycherley’s
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course ENGL 428 taught by Professor Markey during the Spring '07 term at University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.

Page1 / 5

English428TheCountryWife - Edmund St. Gumdrop English 428...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online