CHALLENGES OF BEING A WOMAN (Exacerbated by celebrities and pop culture…
CHALLENGES OF BEING A WOMAN
Under the burden of expectations and responsibilities
the idea of perfection
myth? - unattainable
Undermine the myth that marriage automatically provides a grounding sense of identity"
many of the women feel the need to be loved and accepted by men before they can be happy with their own identities"
draws on a range of cliches
her final scram is an expression of rage and despair directed at a society where women are seduced by romantic dreams and celebrity glamour and made to believe that these will bring happiness
just as Penelope does not confront her suitors or her husband head-on, preferring to outwit them instead, so the Penelopiad does not openly challenge or dispute the mythic narratives on which it is based
Penelope and Odysseus' marriage bed is party made from a tree, symbolising the continuity and the permanence of their marriage
Exacerbated by celebrities and pop culture and the media
public Vs private image
inner/outer worlds collide
"Characters grapple to find worlds in an attempt to articulate these internal experiences"
"These identities operate as contradictions in someone's concept of self feeling or self being"
"Struggle to measure up to the various images of successful womanhood celebrated in popular culture"
"Superficially reflect the stereotypical female ideals"
"Clash uncomfortably with the characters needs to express their individuality, thus creating pressures that erupt into turmoil"
many of the women define themselves in their relations with others and when these relationships break down, through either divorce or death, or being on stage, so does their concept of self
the label of widow for winsome becomes an anchor in a life in which her needs are mostly ignored
a crushing sense of monotony
Atwood draws out contrasting strategies for female survival dominated by men
the use of Penelope's voice as narrator allows us to see how completely she outwits many of the men around her and that she is concious of others' perceptions of her. but we are aweare of her regrets and her defence of her actions
as the underdogs in a society dominated by men the women of ancient Greece competed with each other to be heard, noticed, or to sustain what little power they had
women were treated as prizes or possessions
Atwood presents Penelope's world as one of survival