Womenin the 1950’s
Womenover the years have been considered lesser being compared to theirmale counterparts. In terms of employment, they have beenmarginalized and given a very low percentage of a wage compared tothe males. With continued women marginalization and stereotyping,there has been an increased inequality. Policies makers have toformulate policies to provide a solution that will empower women.This paper seeks to analyze the women in the 1950’s and comparethem to the women portrayed in the crucible.
Commonattitude held about women
Inthe 1950’s the attitudes directed towards women evolved immenselyaround the basic idea of female species considered inferior to theirmale counterparts. This was the major concept inculcated in the1950’s society (Rowell, 124). Women accessibility to education wasvery limited. In a rear situation where one was able, to complete adegree course they still held the inconspicuous social contract thatwas to get married and settle down and to work further for theirfamily. Their main role and duty were to take care of the home andchildren and to an end die while doing these roles repeatedly.Therefore, the women in the 1950’s were not expected to focus ontheir career but to perform duties.
Percentof Women in workforce and Average Salary
Inthe 1950’s the percentage of women who were taking part in the workforce was very low compared to the percent of men. Newspapersadvertised a very separate job listings for both men and women. Thesejobs were further categorized according to sex with the highestlisting for males and separate pay scales for both sexes.
Duringthis period, those women who were having a full-time job used to earnan approximation of between 59-64 cent. This figure was for everysingle dollar that their male counterpart were earning at the sametype of job (Bock and Pat, 118). The women average salary wasapproximately 59 percent of what the men were earning. Further, atthe end of the wars that were witnessed pushed a large number ofwomen out of their jobs and this was intended to make room andvacancy for the returning veterans.
Feministactivity and literature
Simonede Beauvoir published a book, the second sex in the years 1953 andindicated the injustices the women were going through in that time.It had taken time before the US women started organizing around thenumerous injustices identified by Beauvoir. The majority of thewriting of the feminist philosophers in US emerged from theirattempts to grapple with the numerous issues that arose from womenmovement (Bock and Pat, 112). The feminism was advocating for equalrights for women within the social and political structures. In theresponse to the profession sexism, the US feminist and philosopherslater on organized the society for women in Philosophy (SWIP). Thiswas aimed at promoting and supporting females in philosophy.
Womenportrayed in the Crucible
Inthe crucible, women who have powers are painted as both a negativeand a positive idea. This was because both good things and bad thingaccompanied women having power. Taking critical lenses of feminism,it would appear that way. For instance, Elizabeth is seen to have aconsiderable healthy amount of power (Miller, 119). She expressed herdisappointment to John when she realized she had a feeling concerningthe affair that John had. The women in the Crucible are furtherportrayed as inferior beings that are lesser than their malecounterparts are. They are expected to be submissive to the men andperform the homemaking duties (Powers, 1509). Mary, the servant,lacks the strong will was seen treated in a very low status in John’sfamily. Abigail, on the other hand, was portrayed enjoying a highersocial status, and she gained power through manipulation and numerousdeceitful approaches.
Doesthe Crucible presents women in a positive way and supports feministtheories or reinforces stereotypes of the 1950`s?
Throughoutthe human history, women have always been viewed as being theinferior gender. They are considered lesser sex in all the aspects oflife including, in the religion, literature and society. ArthurMiller has conveyed the paradigm of viewing women as a lesser sexclearly in the Crucible. This has been showed in the play by how theyare treated, roles they played and their course of action of thesefemale characters. Arthur attempted to expose the inferiority ofwomen in the society, and this was done from a Christian perspective.They were portrayed as manipulative and significantly imperfectbeings.
Accordingto Miller (115), women stereotype can be seen in the crucible where ascholar states, “Elizabeth’s actions were not only controlled byJohn, but her emotions were as well.” The line of power isconsidered to be blurred since it may be difficult to separatebetween a correct and what is correct power. Elizabeth speaks boldlyof how the women in the society were treated. For instance, Elizabethin a certain circumstance described herself as a very “goodChristian woman.”
Additionallyshe believes that it is her duty to be serving her husband since sheis a true Christian, (Miller, 114). Just as the Bible state, whichwives should be subjective to their husband, the puratins in the playthe Crucible tend to adhere to this strictly. Most of the marriedfemales strive to be submissive and serve their husbands. Therefore,it is clear that Arthur in his writing in the book, the crucible hasportrayed women to be inferior sex hence reinforcing the stereotypesof the 1950’s. Elizabeth is obedient to John such that when askedwhether her husband had committed adultery she answered, “No sir”(Miller, 113). This further show the length women are willing to goto save their husbands in the crucible.
Fromthis analysis, it is evident that women in the 1950,s weremarginalized and stereotyped. They were viewed as a lesser sex whowere expected to perform homemaking roles and be submissive to theirhusbands. Additionally, the Crucible, by Arthur has shown how womenare a lesser being and reinforced the stereotypes that were evidentin the 1950’s.
Bock,Gisela, and Pat Thane, eds. Maternityand gender policies: Women and the rise of the European welfarestates, 1880s-1950s.Psychology Press, 1994.
Miller,Arthur. Thecrucible.Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015.
Powers,Karen Vieira. Womenin the crucible of conquest: the gendered genesis of Spanish American society, 1500-1600.UNM Press, 2005.
Rowell,Jenny. TheWomen Behind the Magnolia.Diss. Dalarna University, 2010.