The Grandissimes Analysis

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The Cruelty of Society Towards Women in The Grandissimes
Ashley Renshaw says, “Always stand for what you believe in because it might just be the change the world needs.” Like Renshaw, Aurora and Clotilde go to extreme measures to stand firm in what they believe in while encountering many obstacles along the way. In George Washington Cable’s book, The Grandissimes, Cable shows his readers the harshness society presses upon Creole women during the nineteenth century. Cable’s depiction of the situation of women in the South, common with societal expectancies during the nineteenth century across America, categorizes women as passive bystanders throughout The Grandissimes. To begin, Cable allows his readers to see the harshness society throws upon
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For example, Cable comments on how the Creole society functions by stating, “In those days Creole society was a ship, in which the fair sex were all the passengers and the ruder sex the crew” (Cable 316). Again, the reader observes the view held by society of Creole women during this time period. Cable’s use of imagery and metaphor allows the reader to recognize that the societal norm relies on men to do the work within the community because in that point of time women are not given the luxury to influence society in any way. Likewise, in “Women’s Rights Before the Civil War”, Donnoway gives her reader’s America’s societal view of women during the nineteenth century by stating, “In the nineteenth century, most Americans assumed that there was a natural order in society which placed men and women in totally different spheres. The ideal woman was submissive; her job was to be a meek, obedient, loving wife who was totally subservient to the men around her” (Donnoway). As one can see, this statement provides the reader that at this point in time society forces women to hold a place on the sidelines. Women are depicted to be there for show and nothing more; society expects a woman to almost evolve into what society needs her to be instead of allowing her to show her wants and desires. Furthermore, in Degas in New Orleans: Encounters …show more content…
For example, When Raoul questions one of the women at the Grandissime mansion about not trying to stop the persecution of Clemence, he is given this response, “Ah! listen to Raoul! What can a woman do?” (Cable 321). As the reader can see, this statement shows a hint of defeat within the woman’s response. Cable symbolizes the hopeless feeling within many women by giving this response, and this allows the readers to observe how much society’s constant grasp on women to be bystanders within society has metamorphized into making them even believe themselves that they are limited on what they can or cannot do within society. Similarly, in The Past Is Not Dead: Essays from the Southern Quarterly, Watson makes an excellent point about the internal conflict Aurora and Clotilde face when stating, “Most of the characters are forced to struggle with contradictory feelings, to question long-held attitudes and beliefs, to redefine themselves and their relationships with others” (Watson 118). Starvation along with many other conflicts forces Aurora and Clotilde to want to break free from the generic role of how a woman shall act. Aurora and Clotilde are sick and tired of having to abide by society’s expectancies just because they are of higher aristocracy. Consequently, one can see the internal conflicts held within each of them, to go against society and become

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