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THTRFLM 1T03 (114)
Lecture 4

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McMaster University
Theatre & Film Studies
Peter Cockett

Fox 1 Lecture 4 Theatre and Film 1T03 Thursday May 16, 2013 A Doll House A Doll House & Gender  The play challenges contemporary ideological assumptions about gender roles. It is still challenging today  Does biological sex define human behavior?  Gender theory argues it is not an essential influence-male sex does not automatically equal masculine gender  Gender is a social construction Cultural Discourses: Christianity and Platonic Idealism  Within the Christian ideology of the day gender was innate and directly related to biological sex (same is largely true in Christian ideology today)  The roles of men and women and their behavior are explained in reference to moral ideals  Authority for Patriarchy came down from above  In the bible Eve is created from Adams rib  Used as evidence to subjugate women  English Common Law in 12 century gives women status of men’s other goods and chattels  Christian ideal of Man and Woman  Man is..  Woman is.. Gender and the Law  Caroline Norton, A Letter to the Queen on Lord Chancellor Cranworth’s Marriage and Divorce Bill (1855) Patriarchy in 19C Europe  A heavily Patriarchal Society  Men rule society. Women do not have the vote  Wives are the properry of their husbands. Divorce is extremely difficult to attain  Respectable women (middle class women) are expected to stay home. They should not involve themselves in business  Women are expected to be obeidient  Women are considered less intelligent and capable  Women are admired for their beauty Women’s Resistance  Women carved out realms of influence within Victorian society, especially in the home, but they remained severely restricted by the law and the attendant attitudes  As Caroline Nortons letter reveals women at this time were also starting to voice their resistance to this oppression in the public sphere Cultural Discourses  “A Whisper To The Husband On Expenditure” Godey’s Lady’s Book, Dec. 1860  Finances within marriage  Reveals power structures  Good example of how ideologies penetrate all forms of cultural discourse New Cultural Discourses: Naturalism  Charles Darwin: The Origin of Species (1859)  Evolution of species is dependant on environment and hereditary factors  Auguste Comte (1798-1857)  “Positivism” – invention of sociology  Metaphysical explanations should be replaced by material explanations Emile Zola (1840-1902)  Applied principles of Naturalsim to Art  Theatre/novels should be scientific  The object of study is life  A
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