Struggles of the Oppressed WomanThroughout history, society has constantly oppressed woman, making it harder forher to achieve what it is that she so desires.
In modern day society, a female has to worktwice as hard as a male does to reach the same desired goal. Stemming from ourancestors beliefs and morals that women belong in the home, these two compositions,written by Amy Tan and Lynn Bloom, illustrate these beliefs concerning the roles of thewomen in society. In both cases, the women involved write of their struggles and theways in which each overcame them. Women are highly outnumbered as, professorsgovernmental figures, doctors and many other prestigiouspositions. This fact aloneexemplifies the struggles of a woman in society. Though the goals, the obstacles, and thesituations were all different, the beliefs reflected by each author are very much alike.Order now
Amy Tans, The Red Candle, is the story ofAmys upbringing, mainlyconcerning her marriage. In Taiyuanese society, women do not have much freedomconcerning how they live. Having no control over the process of selecting a husband,Tans future husband is chosen at the age of two. Living in the strict Taiyuanese society,her life was carved in stone at an extremely early age. In her early years, all thoughts andactions were directed to the development of a good wife for her future husband. Acontract was made, between the Tans and the Huangs, concerning the future of theirchildren.
Tyan-yu, Tans future husband, would have all of the power in the marriage,leaving Tan nothing but orders. How would a woman be able to live a life, which she hasno control over?Being oppressed by her own society, how would Tan strive to gaincontrol of her life?The one privilege that she desires is to have the control to gain whatshe wants and likes. These simple desires are exactly what Lynn Z. Bloom strives foralso. Lynn Z.
Blooms auto-biographical composition, Teaching College English As AWoman, reflects being a female college professor and the struggles that come with thetask. Like Tan, Bloom was constantly rejected and oppressed while trying to attain whatshe desired. She had many obstacles to overcome in order to reach her goal of becominga full time successful college professor. Knowing that she was well qualified anddeserved certain positions, she fought back and ultimately overcame these obstacles, justas Tan. Amy Tan and Lynn Bloom were from totally different backrounds and had totallydifferent goals to achieve.
Though, almost every aspect of their lives was different theyboth had the same types of problems to overcome. The problems that they faced weremany, but the one that they had in common was that of oppression. Being oppressed bytheir peers played integral parts in both of their lives. First starting when she was a baby,Tan experienced oppression her whole life.
Never able to make her own decisions,having her life planned, without any consent, and being treated as a slave by the Huangs,were some of the reasons that Tan felt she had to overcome this oppression thatimprisoned her. This imprisonment denied her of the person she wanted to be. Bloomexperienced this same type of oppression, but on a much lower scale, in her quest ofbecoming a college English professor. Once earning her position ofTeacher Assistantshe came to realize that teaching as a woman has many disadvantages. She was oftenrejected from jobs that she knew she was qualified for, and even those that she landedhad very tight restrictions.
There are similarities in the restrictions that Bloom faced andthe restrictions that Tan faced. Tan was allowed certain actions while other actions werenot allowed; as is the case with Bloom, she was not allowed to voice her own opinion inher class, partly because she was a woman. Bloom talks about her voice that shealways ignored. S. . .
. . he just accepted the way things were. Tan also accepted the waythings were, never making what she knew was the right choice. Tan and Bloom werevery much alike in that they were afraid of their superiors.
They both thought they hadno rights to act on their own and do as they feel. The two were also alike in the fact thatthey developed, over time, a very strong personality which helped them achieve theirgoals. Bloom had a demeaning, one sentence written recommendation,that she usedonce but vowed never to use again. This exemplifies that she was strong and did notwant that kind of help. Tan, also vowed, that she would not be controlled by a familysuch as the Huangs, demonstrating her will power.
Even though they sharedmany things in common they had their differences. Theone difference that stood out the most was the supporting male. Bloom had a verysupportive man beside her during her struggle. When commuting two thousand miles perweek to one of her jobs, Martin said go for it, and took care of the children. This wasnot the case with Tan and her husband, Tyan-yu.
Tyan-yu did not respect the narratorand always gave her a hard time. This is mainly what drove her do act out against thisoppression. Tan and Bloom also had very different approaches to how they would reacheach respective goal. Bloom was an extremely aggressive person, never accepting thefact that she got rejected or harassed. She was a work horse, never giving up on herdream.
Realizing that the obstacles would always be there, she worked to overcomethem, accepting any job she could get and working extremely hard to advance and get hertenure. Tan was different in the way that she approached her problem. Never speakingor acting out, it seemed as though she accepted it. She had accepted the fact that her lifewas planned for her and she had nothing to do about it.
She accepted this fact for manyyears and even when she was living with Tyan-yu she never disagreed with anything. This is the way in which many women deal with oppression, just accepting it and notdoing anything about is extremely common in Taiyuanese culture. Tan writes, After awhile, I hurt so much I didnt feel any difference. This is a key example of thenarrators acceptance of her problem. Though, in the end she did resist, for most of herlife the she was acted as acoward by accepting the problem.
Another differencebetween the two is how they finally overcame the conflict. Bloom, outright, just defeatedit by pure will and perseverance; while Tan had to lie, and hope the Huangsbelievedher. Because of this, I believe Bloom is a much stronger person. The two women portrayed in these two compositions had qualities that weresimilar and qualities that separated them. They were equal in that they were eachpresented with an oppressive problem.
These problems, though extremely different fromone another, rooted from the basic fact that women are oppressed. I call this a factbecause in our society oppression is all around. Though it is becoming more scarce littleby little, oppression still plays a dominant role in a womans life. The final result forboth women was of victory over oppression. For both of these women to go against thestandards and values of their culture and society is a victory in itself.
For these women toactually achieve what they initially set out to do, makes it an even greater victory. Bothwere oppressed, but both had different ways to overcome this oppression. Though bothdefeated their struggles with hard work and determination, the path that each took is whatultimately separated the two. Both Bloom and the narrator overcame these problemswith hard work and powerful determination. It is this powerful determination that makesthese two so much alike, but it is the in which they used this will to overcome theirproblems that ultimately separated the two.