Supernatural Women Essay

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Supernatural Women: Manipulation and Subtlety as Women's Weapon Against Patriarchy Women have oft been compared to supernatural beings, and indeed many of the magical and ethereal beings in literature are women, or at least female presenting – witches, gorgons, sirens, faeries, the female oni and yōkai, onryō, and yūrei. In Fumiko Enchi's Masks, the women in it plot out an elaborate revenge plot against the men in their life who have done them wrong, using what was implied to be a supernatural power, inherent and passed down from generation to generation. Enchi likely used this idea of powerful, otherworldly women as a way to “dramatize” the lived experiences of women and analyze them through this fictional, exaggerated lens. (Pounds 167) …show more content…
In Masks, the supernatural force refers to “spirit possession (Enchi 5)” done by women, which is the nature of women themselves, their seductive abilities and their generational powers to transform their grudges into a spirit to enact revenge. This is “the power women have over men (Enchi 57), transforming their bitterness into a supernatural power to possess others to manipulate men, and get their revenge on the men who have wronged them in their lives. The use of supernatural themes in literature, in line with the idea of dramatizing women's lives to critique how they are treated in real life, can “articulate what realism cannot or dare not (Smajic 3),” in this case, women's power under the patriarchy. Enchi invokes the character Lady Rokujo, who possessed all of Genji's lovers to enact revenge on him as a device to explain the motives of Mieko, who sympathized with the character and wrote the essay analyzing her. She was a widow like Yasuko and Mieko, and the archetype of a scorned, bitter older woman – representative of Mieko, and the power she had over her daughter-in-law and

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