Separation of Women and State: Gulliver’s Ideas of Women as a Part of Society but not Part of Society Gulliver’s Travels shifts through a series of opposing theories and cultures. Each setting that Gulliver encounters, has an entirely different view of how that culture sees the world and thinks that it does, or should work. There is however, a rather interesting perspective that Gulliver continually takes on women. “Gender relations shift throughout the four parts of Gulliver’s travels as Gulliver defines the meanings of sexes in the countries he visits” (Naussbaum 322). He has the tendency to entirely view women in their gender roles as compared to English women. He leads no thought that women can in fact be more or less than what English women are. Gulliver seems to characterize all women into either being more or less like English women—showing an idea that English women are the most superior of all women. Naussbaum states that, “Cultural materialistic feminism, with its emphasis on the catalytic power if the contradictions that emanate from opposing concepts entities, and ways of knowing, continues to strive toward recognizing differences among women in theory and practice” (329). The idea is to draw out the instances that can readily be portrayed as sexist treatment, which are not necessarily such because of the circumstance of those involved. As one reviews the story, we see that Gulliver is very culturally centered in the ideals that were commonly shared about women during the 1700’s. The portrayals of women throughout the narrative seem to effectively alienate them as an entirely separate part of society. The idea that women belong to society, but in turn are not actually a central part of it, is more of a secondary mechanism of sort. The general idea of feminism it that though man is considered as a whole, it is very often, through opinion, separated into male and female gender roles. Men in their roles lead society while women seem to stay in the...
Cited: Murfin, Ross C. "Femnist Criticism and Gulliver 's Travels." Swift, Johnathan. Gulliver 's Travels. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, n.d. 305-317. Naussbaum, Felicity A. "Gulliver 's Malice: Gender and Satiric Stance." Swift, Johnathan. Gulliver 's Travels. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, n.d. 318-334. Swift, Jonathan. Gulliver 's Travels. Boston: Bedford/St Martins, 1726. Tyson, Lois. Critical Theory Today . New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, 2006.
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