Gender inequality has been a problem since the beginning of time. In the story of Adam and Eve in the Bible, when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, Adam blamed it on the woman(Eve) whom God gave him. The lesson learned from the story of The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil that most people think that women will cause bad things to happen if they are not controlled by men, and men must have the complete monopoly of power of controlling women’s sexuality and behavior. With the development of society, women begin seeking the equal rights.
Feminist attempts to empower women by giving them a voice so that men can not exploit them in different ways. Miranda in “The Tempest” by William Shakespeare and the Little Red Riding Hood in “The Company of Wolves” by Angela Carter are perfect example of feminist role in literature texts. In “Living Stories, Telling Lives: Women and the Novel in Contemporary Experience” by Joanne S. Frye, Frye states that men prefer to analysis a woman base on women’s physical appearance rather than their abilities. In “The Tempest,” most of men like Miranda because of her pretty physical appearance. She is a beautiful girl. Some people consider her as a sex object.
When Ferdinand first time meets Miranda, he says: Instead of asking Miranda’s name, Ferdinand is interested and hopes that she will stay in the island that he was trapped in. In “The Company of Wolves”, the narrator describes the Little Red Riding Hood as a pretty girl so that when she meets the handsome hunter who actually is a wolf, the wolf and the girl have a tease.If Little Red Riding Hood is not a pretty girl, the wolf may eat her at once just like he eats her grandmother. In these two literature texts, the narrators’ attitude toward to virginity are different. In Shakespeare’s time, keep virginity is very important for unmarried women.
Juliet Dusinberre provides a corresponding commentary in her book Shakespeare and the Nature of Women:And In Shakespeare and His Social Context, Margaret Loftus Ranald remarks on this assumption:In “The Tempest”, Ferdinand says that he hopes Miranda still in the state of virginity when they first time meet each other. Miranda’s virginity is symbolic of her purity, innocence, and goodness. It shows that women can only passively accepte in sexual. In “The Company of Wolves”, Angela Carter referred obliquely about virginity of Little Red Riding Hood. The narrator says: The little girl commences sexual maturity, and she has just begun to menstruate.
She does not necessarily want to keep her virginity. When the hunter(wolf) bet a kiss with her, the little girl manipulates the game by walking slowly to When she arrives her grandmother’s house and find that the wolf has eaten her grandmother, she strips naked, laughs in the face of danger andsleeps with the wolf, and she becomes the only person alive from the wolf. Different with Miranda, the Little Red Riding Hood is bold pursuit of sex.Little Red Riding Hood dresses in a red shawl that has the The narrator calls the capes red hue It hints the blood she will presumably shed when she loses her virginity and the little girl will lose her virginity to the wolf. But, the sexual behaviour between the little girl and the wolf, the little is the person who masters the initiative. It is totally different with the situation in “The Tempest.
” In hakespeare’s time, losing virginity means the women get married. As Pretty as Miranda, she is very dependent on other men, such as her father Prospero and Ferdinand. In Shakespeare’s Women, Angela Pitt states that:Ferdinand hopes Miranda still has her virginity even though they are not married. Miranda does not care about that if Ferdinand has his virginity. She even says that she will be his maid if Ferdinand does not want to marry her. Comparing with the Little Red Riding Hood’s bold pursuit of sex and tames the savage wolf, Miranda is very passive in their relationships. In concluding, Miranda is a purity, innocence and goodness girl, but she is not as good as other competent men.
She need to depend on other men. In her time, women is oppression. But, in “The Company of Wolves,” wolves are dangerous, however, the little girl tames the savage wolf, and enjoys the werewolf tender embrace. It is a kind of sexual liberation of women. It also shows the readers the development of Feminist.
Women starts working on improving women’s status and position.