She graduated from Master in 1955 and without hesitation, enrolled in a Master’s program for Canadian Literature at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. Marina was a powerful activist for women’s rights over the years, writing books, short stories, and sharing her experiences with all who would engage. Her evident determination to succeed was first noted at the young age of ten, when her mother told her that the profession of writing was “very hard” and Marina Engel responded to her by saying, “l don’t care.
” Marina grew into a throng woman, who was passionately dedicated to her work.
She wrote many short stories, and novels that clearly depicted the social justice issues prevalent during her lifetime, specifically the oppression and factorization of women. Engel’s unconditional support of the women’s rights movement during the sass’s is clearly portrayed in her short story Anta’s Dance. In the sass’s the women’s rights movement was quickly gaining ground as women began to be granted job positions which had been predominantly male roles, and were no longer confined to a life of dreary domesticity, this is reflected in the way Anita is living, and her general thoughts on the idea of living as a mother and house wife.
Anita is a well-educated, self-supportive woman who rejects the male ideals of being a dainty, do-nothing house wife. The history of feminism has been divided into three distinct waves, and the second wave has been identified as taking place from the sass’s to the mid-1 ass’s.
The second wave was a frenzy of sexual and reproductive rights being established, and a massive rise in divorce rates. Education became readily available and widely accepted as a path for both men and women during that time, and Anita sakes advantage of the opportunity. Anita goes to universe¶y’ and pursues her dreams of educating herself, as opposed to “settling down”. She had wanted to study literature but on practical grounds had chosen economics instead. ” This quote is significant because it highlights how serious women were about becoming properly educated and qualified for good work. Economics qualifications would increase the chances of Anita getting a good, well-paying job; literature would limit the chance of success for Anita in her career. This is because despite the growth in support Of the women’s rights movement, a ale was still far more likely to get his works published, whereas it was significantly harder for women.
It is important to note that the author herself had qualifications in literature and the fact that Anita sees it as impractical is likely a reflection of the struggle Marina faced in her career. Once again, it is an area where although things were generally moving forward, some were moving at much too slow a pace. Regardless of the fact that the movement had made significant strides over the years, there always seems to be the people who prefer to be set in their ways. The audience is introduced to an ill- mannered, condescending pig named Jack, who unfortunately for Anita, is her younger brother.
Jack comes around, asking for money and a means of transportation, as well as bearing heavy news about one of Anta’s older sisters. Her sister Lanai has fallen ill, and as Jack breaks the news to Anita, he also feels the need to add that she should probably take care of the kids. It’s Jack’s way of attempting to strip Anita of the rights she has to be a free willed single, working woman, which was a common tactic used by those uncomfortable or against the feminist movement.
Although Anita makes a great effort to ignore the factorization that she faces throughout the story, it is impossible for the audience not to pick up on the words, symbols, and characters used to blatantly victimize her. Right off the bat Anita is attempting to enjoy the peace and quiet of her backyard to spend some time alone to just read and relax, however her thoughts are intruded by the reminder of her friends calling her selfish. Anita recalls being called selfish by her “friends” for finding happiness in her successes such as having ownership of her own house, a car, and a satisfying way of life in unreal.
This brings down the value of her success and leaves Anita a victim, because her friends are just trying to take away from the caliber of her accomplishments, and try to give her a reason to feel guilty about what’s she’s done for herself. Next, Anta’s thoughts are overtaken by a memory of a boy she had once been very fond of. That is, until he suggested that she drop her scholarship at university, marry him, and put him through law school because, “Being male, he had more right to an education than she had. Now while this truly selfish boyfriend of Anta’s didn’t have the chance to turn her onto a victim because she dumped him and didn’t listen to his request, the language he uses is condescending and highly discriminating against women, which is definitely a form of factorization. Each character that appears to be attempting to take away any sense of happiness achieved by Anita is male, including her cat. Now it is not the cat itself that does something to directly victimize Anita, it is the language used to describe the cat’s thought process that depicts the factorization. The cat was scowling at her through the kitchen window; he didn’t like her to be happy. ” This is a quote from early on n the story where Anita is still enjoying the small amount of time she will have to herself before Jack comes around. However the audience does not have to read much further to discover that of course the cat will have what it wants, which would be Anita feeling miserable. Once Jack barges onto the scene the cat receives a smug sense of relief. “The cat gave her a satisfied look, pleased that her moment of glory was over. This is another perfect explanation as to why Anita is painted as a victim, see, there are people (or cats in this case) that feel they benefit from her misery, and their presence in his piece of literature perfectly outlines how Anita is victimized. Above all sources of factorization for Anita, her brother Jack is by far the worst of them. In one of many attempts to bring Anita down, Jack speaks mockingly about the fact that Anita is reading at the time that he enters. The two are having a discussion about the fact that Anita does not have any work to give Jack, given the fact that she handles it all herself. There must be something, the way you lie around reading all the time. ” The fact that Jack makes it clear he believes he is more capable of dealing with the work shows that he thinks Anita is thing better than a lazy, good for nothing, girl, getting her head lost in books as opposed to getting real work done. After a distressing conversation with Jack, Anita aggressively makes her way inside her house and upstairs to her room to change what she was wearing. As she comes inside, Anita slams the door out of anger shaking the petals off of the poppies that she had put in her front hall.
This is an extremely important symbol to take note of because poppies represent dreams, and so by the petals falling off, it represents the way that Anita is stripped of her dreams of peace and quiet for the day. After spending a very short amount of time with the one person whom Anita can tolerate, Clive, she must return to her house to ensure that Jack has left. When Jack addresses his sister he doesn’t call her by her name, rather he calls her “girl” which is one of the most common way to strip someone of their Persephone.
As opposed to recognizing Anita as a person by calling her by her name, he uses a term that makes women seem like they hold lesser value, even if it is just through his words. However not only did Jack use a general term for females, he also uses a term that is often for referring to a monger group. By using the terms “girl” as opposed to “lady” or ‘Woman” Jack also makes Anita appear young, incompetent, and immature. Jack goes on to say that all Anita cares about is white velvet, books, and doilies, which are all things associated with daintiness.
Once again, Jack is taking a shot at Anta’s actual intelligence, knowing that it fires her up. Not only does Jack take every opportunity to victimize Anita, but he also does an exceptional job of using oppressive statements to bring her down. The way that Jack suggests that Anita drop whatever it is she is occupying her fife with at that time and go to take care of her sisters children whilst her sister is sick is oppressive because even though he is the one who is totally jobless, and evidently without any true role to play in society, because Anita is a woman, it must be her role to step in.
Not only does Jack not volunteer himself to take care of his sisters kids, Lanai also has a healthy husband who is completely cap blew Of caring for the kids, but because of the time period, it would still be rather unheard of, and in some ways looked down on. As Anita tries rid herself of Jack, and have him leave the house, but as he refuses to sites, her boyfriend Clive steps in and firmly encourages the pig to step down, and just leave. However, unsurprisingly Jack shows no interest in leaving and even has the nerve to add that he had no reason for wanting to leave since he had such a fine sister to take care of him.
This is Jack’s way of attempting to force a traditionally female role onto his sister, who has showed clear evidence she has absolutely no interest in that lifestyle. From the beginning of the short story where Anita thinks of the previous boy she had been interested in, oppression of women is elaborately built into many aspects of the story. The fact that her ex-interest had tried to get her to drop the scholarship she had very obviously worked so hard for, is the perfect case to use to back up the idea that oppression was quite predominant in this story.
His reason for having her drop her scholarship to take care of him is that he’s male and has more right to an education than a female, which is beyond the realm of oppressive speech. The audience is very briefly introduced to four female characters who are evidently very tragic. Three of these four female characters are sisters to Anita, One had fallen ill, the Other Was in recovery from a surgery, and the hard sister was sick prior to today. The fourth person was Anta’s mother. The sisters are significantly more tragic characters in comparison to Anita because in the very least Anita still has her health.
Lanai, Rosier, and Kit were all suffering from severe health declines, and their mother had to do her time as a parent. The age that her mother had to raise children in was very different than what Anita would ever have to deal with. Her mother is much more tragic because she was never even granted the opportunity to make something of herself, or get an education. Not only was Anita presented the opportunity to get an education, but she was able to make her own choice as to whether or not she would get married.
It is a great deal more tragic that the mother and sisters don’t have the opportunities that Anita has had and will continue to have, than the “problems” that Anita deals with, such as her obnoxious brother. Imitation is an advanced behavior whereby an individual observes, and replicates another actions or behavior. The story points out that Anita goes up the stairs in her house to get a different pair of pants, which is an important part of the story because it displays the way women began to do hinges that had previously been acceptable only for men, such as wearing pants.
It was a way to imitate men to show that women were equal, and could do the same things as men if they wanted to. They could have the same jobs, wear the same clothes, and smoke etc. Which were all things that only men were entitled to historically. The way that Anita treats Jack in return for the way that he talks to her is a massive give away for the stage of imitation because it makes it quite obvious that Anita is trying to build her confidence by mimicking Jack’s obvious sense of self confidence.
Anita wearing the trousers makes overlap between imitation and protest because it is be categorized as protest as well. Traditionally, women only wore skirts or dresses, that’s just how it was, but when the 1 sass rolled around, it slowly became more and more popular for women to wear pants, as a form of protest against the divide between men and women’s roles. Pants were a massive symbol for the feminist movement during that time. After a battle to overcome the factorization, oppression, and overall mistreatment, Anita comes to a moment of self-realization.
After a heated conversation trying to Orca Jack to leave her house, Anita becomes fed up, and her strong emotions bubble over, she begins to beat on Jack, and she realizes the true level of her strength and ability. Throughout the story the audience can detect that Anita has somewhat of a sense of self, but it isn’t until the end where she lashes out, that Anita can experience the essential stage of self-realization. Marina Engel paints an intricate mental image for the audience of what kind of expectations were held for females in the sass’s, whether it be roles in society, or the things that they could accomplish.
Engel uses symbols, Roding, and characters to clearly portray the oppression and factorization of women in the assess. Regardless Of the fact that Marina does not directly tell the audience the events that were occurring or the way women were viewed, the male ideals for a female are represented crystal clear in this literary work.