Essay on Gender Inequality Within The 19th Century

762 Words Apr 8th, 2016 4 Pages
For centuries, mankind has had a propensity to utilise the biological distinctions of the sexes in order to enforce a societal distinction between the sexes, which is known as gender. Gender, as the socially imposed division of the sexes, allowed societies to delineate certain characteristics to each of the sexes, and thus assign different roles, moral codes, and, in certain societies, thoughts and emotions to them. As such, the study of gender is of profound importance to the manner in which one reads and studies literature.
For instance, the delineation of the sexes prior to the 19th century, women were educated to a lesser extent than men, having an education limited to that of moral virtues, modern languages, and societal accomplishments such as music, drawing, or singing. As such, males accounted for the majority of the readership of literature prior to the 19th century. Subsequently, the canonical works of this era were often depicted a “masculine” view of the world, as the critics who were selecting these works were male, and therefore were more capable of valuing that depiction. As women became educated in the manner of reading and writing, there were increasing number of works which were narrated by females, which were read and critiqued by members of both sexes. As such, following this increasing in female narration and female authorship, the canon began to evolve in order to encompass literary masterpieces depicting a “feminine” world; an example of this…

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