Representations of Women
The following paper explores the woman’s role and status and the way in which they have changed considerably during the last period that extended from the last decade of the 19th century until the years when World War swept across the earth.
This paper examines how a woman’s status has changed along at least three major axes political rights, employment and health care, and cultural perceptions of the female body. It also explores how all of these changes were taken up by artists and writers as well as those holding power (and opinion in) the realms of politics, economics, and religion. The author makes reference to four plays that show some of this progress made by women Oscar Wilde’s `Salome`, August Strindberg’s “The Father” and “A Dream Play” and Andre Gide’s `The Immoralist`.
While women’s status remained secondary to men throughout this time (and remains secondary to men through the present) in terms of such generally accepted markers of social standing as political power, economic independence and cultural importance, women during this period in many ways ceased to be regarded as only mothers, daughters or wives and became simply human beings with their own identities independent from the men to whom they were related.