Sample Literature Review on Alice Munroe
Alice Munroe puts victimization of women in perspective in all her writings. In all her short stories, she narrates the manner in which culture and the social environment works towards victimizing women in the society. All of her writings are narrations of her personal experience in upbringing. She indicates a society where women are confined within the their traditional roles including cooking, cleaning, ironing, and preparing the house. On the other hand, the victimization of women is evident in relation to the men controlling all family affairs. They determine activities that women should undertake, including education of girls in families. Munroe shows women with no ability to choose for them; no will to seek for information and develop within the society.
Cultural restraints are serious factors that limit the ability of women to pursue their dreams and contribute to the welfare of the society. According to Weisz, Tolman, and Saunders (76), Munroe’s Boys and Girls present a family where the father is both the giver and taker of life. The mother has no authority but to stay at home. However, the narrator finds herself going against the conventional societal norms that demands girls to assume a role of their mothers. On the same note, the freedom of choice is a pillar indicating the ability of women to contribute in the society (Weisz, Tolman, & Saunders 80). Princess Ida shows a family where Del Jordan and her mother Addie struggle to undertake activities that are open only for men. Addie sells encyclopedia, an activity that ensures she works outside the home setting. The whole village resents the choice of work, noting that women should confine their activities within homes.
Feminism brings the optimal perspective that defines victimization of women in the society. Feminism helps understand some of the issues that define the rights of women, with respect to having allowing them the freedom of choice in the society. Munroe’s work is an advocacy towards fighting for the women in order to gain the rights from the oppressive societal factors. Buchholtz (23) notes that women should be free to make personal choices that affect their daily livelihoods. Feminist theory provides the platform that allows the women to attain freedom in various areas of life including politics, philosophy, arts, anthropology and literature. The feminist movements and ideologies in the West helped in coming up with measures that seek to empower women in the society (Buchholtz 24-30). In the past, feminist movements have ensured women to obtain their rightful place within the society through advocacy.
Feminist theory allows putting social construction into perspective in order to understand the reason for equality in the society. Munroe’s short stories depict a society where men are aggressive towards women and have the control over all activities within homes. At the same time, men are the forces advocating for the inequality in the society by dictating the boundaries beyond which women should never operate. At the same time, Munro does well by providing different perspectives of gender victimization, advocating for freedom of choice for both men and women. According to Tong (70), the importance of feminism also comes from the fact that it advocates for both men and women. The theories also help in bringing the awareness to the men affected by the problem. The current society provides the opportunities for all persons to excel, something that can only be achieved by empowering the women to pursue their goals and dreams.
Buchholtz, Miroslawa. Alice Munro: Understanding, Adapting, Teaching. Springer International
Tong, Putnam. Feminist Thought: A More Comprehensive Introduction (2nd Ed.). Boulder,
Colo.: Westview Press, 1998.
Weisz, N., Tolman, M. & Saunders, G. “Assessing the risk of severe domestic violence: the
importance of survivors’ predictions.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Vol. 15 no,.1, 2000, pp. 75-90.