Society’s influence on people and their way of life has two outcomes: liberating or oppressing them. It all depends on which standards one accepts at any given time. Most women live unsatisfied lives full of oppression in patriarchal societies that believe in male dominance and female inferiority in marriage. This unfortunate situation is a dominant feature of relationships in most cultures.
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In the Raisin in the Sun, Walter’s mother follows society’s dictates by believing that oppression, harshness, and unfairness are innate masculine characters. She describes her husband as a stubborn, mean, and promiscuous person. Despite all these negative attributes, she strongly still regards him as a gentleman. This paradox shows that a man can be inconsiderate to women and even promiscuous without question and still be deified in this society.
Walter Lee, the main character in the play, belittles women, calling them people of small minds. Here, male intellectual superiority is depicted as a social norm. Lee further tells his sister, Beneatha, to forget ever becoming a doctor and settle for a nursing career like other women or just get married. The role of a woman in life is illustrated as childbearing, not providing for the family.
Male prejudice against women in A Raisin in the Sun is equally a dominant theme in Susan Glaspell’s Trifles. In both writings, wives are isolated from their husbands due to social norms that demand female submission and male dominance in marriage. These beliefs cause marital problems for Mr. and Mrs. Wright in Trifles. The woman’s role in society is suppressed due to Mr. Wright’s dominance. The suppression and control drive Mrs. Wright into murdering her husband while he slept.
In conclusion, both plays illustrate discrimination, oppression, and prejudice against women in marital relationships and their adverse outcomes. They show the essence of respect between partners in ensuring a happy marriage and support. Life is all about happiness and avoiding oppressive societal structures is instrumental in achieving it. Negative gender stereotypes, cultural practices, and demeaning roles constrain relationships and prevent women from participating fully in societal processes.