Monday, January 6, 2014

An Argumentation of The Idea: The Relation between Woman-Writing In Literature

Literature, for it is either, as the never-stopped argumentative speculation in defining its meaning as a theory, of argumentations before issues of what is truth or just merely considered as either a myth or a fiction, or, about life of human being which is somehow regarded to be represented as an image ( catherine belsey ) in it as if literature is as a significant formation as what Mitchell notes “...then representation is exactly the place where “life”,...gets into the literary work.”, is truthfully considered to have its own relation as a medium or significantly a place to one’s ideology as a personal consistency as what Paul de Man argues that literature towards the integrity of a social and historical self rather than towards the impersonal consistency...”, which, that ”a social and historical self”, a “personality”, is viewed as a reasonable matter of literature in creating the identity, as to what Foucault says identity is a self-made creation depends on a person’s own “bio power”.
Oscar Wilde, a young and remarkable playwright over the era of Victorian-late has fascinatingly created a medium of expressions of what is called identity, through many of Wilde’s remarkable English playwrights. To be more significant, Oscar Wilde’s Woman of No Importance (1893) shows his particular tendency in building the identity through his work of drama, that, it is hereby viewed by the side of feminist criticism that Wilde truly makes that men domination in western be visible enough to make a disgraceful view for woman, as represented in one of its line by the character of Lady Stutfield, “Ah! The world was made for men not for woman.” (p.9) In western’s patriarchal culture, woman does not allowed to do such similar thing as what man can do, because of, the world is  represented not to made for woman. Gilbert and Gubar’s The Madwoman in the Attic constructs the idea of women’s incapability to present their selves to society through literature. Women lost their power of defining their selves as a subject of authority, in this case when she turned to be a writer or a poet.  “Thus the "anxiety of influence" that a male poet experiences is. felt by a female poet as an  even  more primary "anxiety of authorship"-a radical fear that she cannot create, that because she can never become a "precursor" the act of writing will isolate or destroy. “Literature in a history of western was never authorized to a ‘second sex’ – by what Mitchell calls "the inferiorized and 'alternative' (second sex) psychology of women under patriarchy.", and the literature itself was a very male-dominated. The power of men in the western literature had erased woman’s equality in writing as what Cixous’s “writing is at once too high, too great for you, it's reserved for the great-that is, for "great men" , that woman loses her right to be equally viewed as great as men in writing. 
However Wilde’s Woman of No Importance has also  been so differ about this kind of view that if writing has been so absolutely regarded as man’s signature manners, then why in such one of this 19th century’s western remarkable play, there is still a given-part to an idea of woman who writes down the letters in a piece of paper like what the character of Mrs. Arbuthnot does very gracefully under her consciousness, “She...Writes a beautiful hand, too, so large, so firm.” The play insists that this Idea of woman who does a handwritten-text shall be viewed as a very clear representation that writing is particularly done as not only an absolute matter of man’s masculinity but that “...beautiful large, so firm” is somehow responsible to be viewed as a woman’s textual form of femininity also. In Wilde’s Woman of No Importance, the argumentation grows up more arguable related to what old critics have pointed out about the relation between man’s superior power in western’s literature and their claim of writting as an absolute masculinity, that there is lied an irony represented through, “What a curious handwriting! It reminds me of the handwriting of a woman I used to know years ago” (p.20), that if writing is inappropriate to woman then how is that possible to define an inappropriate thing is fascinatingly able to reform the identity of oneself only by her handwriting?   

The difference class of sexuality, woman as what is quoted as ‘second sex’, loses the acclaim value of being the authentic writer for her authentic work referred to the dominant authority of male. However it gives a different perception here to Oscar Wilde, who have been popularly known as one of the most remarkable London’s playwrights that most of his works are done by holding that a value of femininity, represents the idea of a woman in that era of 19th century.

The literary authority has never been addressed to the female sex, as critics Gibert and Gubart give the idea of how impossible it is, “the woman writer substitutes what we have called an "anxiety of authorship," an anxiety built from complex and often only barely conscious fears of that authority which seems to the female Ilrtist .to . be by definition· inappropriate., to her sex.” It indicates that to act as a writer or to write something, woman seemed to have been mistaken herself as a woman, referring to what is inappropriate to her. However, a representation against this view is appeared again by Oscar Wilde in one of his nowadays-regarded masterpiece play, The Importance of being Ernest (1895), the character of Cecily is built as an young, admirable, fully educated girl who at her 18th ages she is so powerfully appeared to be a character of a girl who writes a diary about her everyday life. The diary is necessary used as a symbol by Wilde to represent the idea that woman has a condition of doing a right thing to have an act of writing;
Do you really keep a diary? I'd give anything to look at it.
May I?
Oh no.
(Puts her hand over it)
You see, it is simply a very young girl's record of her own
thoughts and impressions, and consequently meant for
publication. When it appears in volume form I hope you will order a copy.   

 An inappropriate manner to woman is in the 19th century, when she is likely be bounded with a creativity that to write one must have a creativity, that woman having a creativity is regarded to make her way out from woman’s nature, she is asked to be as pure as an “angel”, or if not she will be tragically regarded as “active monster” by what Gibert & Gubar notes, “It is debilitating to be any woman in a society where women are warned that if they do not behave like angels they must be monsters.” However this inequality is contrastingly represented in a very different view that in Wilde’s The Importance of being Ernest, the character of Cecily is ideally treated very well by her society, that to commit in writing a diary does not bring her into the “illness”, that the idea of her as an upper class woman who writes is even more extended to be more admirable, that to the character of Algernon, a young and wealthy man, Cecily is;

 “... the sweetest, dearest, prettiest girl in the whole world.”

 It is perhaps that Cecily ‘s characterization has constructed another point of view of men-woman’s masculine-feminine, that writing is not that whole performance only addressed to a man, not also be permanently considered as a total form of masculinity, but there is also the idea that woman has been fundamentally built to be likely committing herself for a dishonor manner while she writes, as feminist Helene Cixous on her most influential work The Laugh of the Medusa (1976), had been sexually analogized writing is equally as shameful as masturbating to woman, “...Because you punished yourself for writing, because you didn't go all the way; or because you wrote, irresistibly, as when we would masturbate in secret...” and this idea is also bounded to the character of Cecily that she does write, indeed, but her power is symbolized in a form of diary which at society, diary is generally known as “secret”, a very personal account, a secret not to get known by another person;
I keep a diary in order to enter the wonderful secrets of my life.

that she makes her power to be hidden, and this is responsible to be related to the idea which is noted before, the idea that writing is “it's "silly."  However if writing is as similar as “silly”, why do woman still need to do thing which has been called “silly”? In her arguments, Cixous had been pointed out so clearly that, “By writing herself, woman will return to the body.”  She needs, as a living creature, to own her power, that, for instance, not to write means not to own a power and be selfless. Not writing is defined that woman does not belong to her body, which to Judith Butler the body is, “a set of boundaries, individual, and social, politically signified and maintained”(Gender Trouble – 1990), because her body has been taken by the “great” and if not writing, woman would not experiencing to live in her “real” existence as a woman.
However, if woman needs to write to speak up her voices for taking back her existence again over the man, it is bounded with a question of how is it possible to be as simple as that while the action of writing itself has never been addressed to woman? It reminds our memory back to what Gibert & Gubar argued about the 18th-19th century woman’s “anxiety of authorship” in defining the idea of woman as a writer, that there is none of a person who deserves the title of author/writer but only to the man, as if there is woman who writes, her action will be defined as an imitation, to imitates a man, to be as what is shown by Homi Bhabha on his Of Mimicry and Man, that woman is, “almost the same, but not quite” with the man whose power is  a dominant power of the society, since the very past time of western’s literature history.      

1.       Manis, Jim.  A Woman of No Importance by Oscar Wilde, The Electronic Classics Series. Pennsylvania State University, 2006.
2.       Wilde, Oscar, and Alyssa Harad. The importance of being earnest and other plays. SimonandSchuster. com, 2005.
3.       Sandra, Gilbert, and Susan Gubar. "The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination." (1979): 493.
4.       Cixous, Hélène, Keith Cohen, and Paula Cohen. "The laugh of the Medusa."Signs 1.4 (1976): 875-893.
5.       De Man, Paul. "The resistance to theory." Yale French Studies 63 (1982): 3-20.
6.       Mitchell
7.       Butler, Judith. Gender trouble. routledge, 1999.
8.       Bhabha, Homi. "Of mimicry and man: the ambivalence of colonial discourse."October 28 (1984): 125-133.

Monicha Nelis

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