Today’s Focus on applying feminist theory to examine the message in this novel which will depend on understanding of the characters before delving in its important to understand the basics of feminist theory so it could be applied correctly so what’s feminist theory?. Feminist theory is a major branch of theory within sociology that shines light on social problems trends and issues are overlooked or misidentified in society. key areas of focus within feminist theory include discrimination and exclusion on the basis of sex and gender, objection, oppression, gender roles and stereotypes.
Now let’s start the critical approach it is essential to note down the setting in time because it provides the insight of what is life in the past. For an average women an average man; the story takes place in the various states including Nevada, California, West Virginia, and Arizona In New York city around 1950s to early 2000. So what’s exactly are roles of men and women.
The traditional role of women includes domestic work, taking care of the children and almost all household chores. The norm was that womens stayed at home but depending on husband’s income and mindset. Some women did have a job on the other hand men were on the top the household, decision makers and provide food, clothing and other necessities. When examining the parental role of Rosemary Walls and Racks Walls in the household, they’re actually reversed as compared to traditional norms.
Rosemary Walls can be featured as women who believes in independence and she believes that each individual should be self reliant regardless of age, here’s a call about Rosemary Walls.
Rosemary” likes to encourage self-sufficiency in all living creature”(walls 110). Now as much as this quote can be interpreted as Rosemary’s nature; the message relates the normal women and the responsibility to provide duty for their children. A typical female would ensure that the children would do minimum work, however in Rosemary’s case she does not demonstrate the role of a mother again, and she also believes the idea of self-sufficiency for all living creature and that includes her four young children.
On the contrary Rex was making decisions which does not correspond to the typical father role in this era; however he demonstrate moral a mother figure. For instance when the family is the critical state the children go hungry and Rosemary the mother couldn’t care less. Rosemary in that time too she use to call her children selfish for eating food. In general I don’t ever hear a mother calling her own children selfish; but this is when Rex steps in being the mother figure and for chaining the kings side which showed the woman’s personality. Here’s a quote about Rex Walls ” Not child of mine has to hungry!. Don’t you kids worry about a thing” (Wallas 189). THis shows the nurturing role that Rex has and ultimately this impacts Jeannette sleeves do to her views proximity both of the characters. As she mature Jeannette starting to see how careless and selfish her mother is and attentive towards her art only. For example Jeannette mentaions that Rose Mary doesn’t like cooking much and she believes that making a painting that will last forever is far more useful than making a meal that will only last an hour. Again this can be tied into a central image of Rose Mary who does not fulfil the traditional role of a women and a mother in the household.
Throughout the novel womens are seen as sexula objects for example the womens from the Green Lantern are employed as prostitutes and when Janet find out about this; she is fully aware of the truth until late on when a younger brother confronts her that her mother Rose Mary knows about it but never goes anywhere around it. When Jeant is being harassed by Billy Deal, he tries to take advantage of her and take her to the Green Lantern and here’s a quote about Billy telling Jeant about the Green Lantern. He asked” You know what they do in Green Lantern , don’t you?, the womens are nice to men”(Walls 54).