The Gender Ideology In She Stoops To Conquer

Submitted By Junchao-Wang
Words: 1196
Pages: 5

The Gender Ideology in “She Stoops to Conquer” “She Stoops to Conquer” is a comedy by Irish author Oliver Goldsmith that was the first performed in London in 1773. This comedy talks about love and emotion about young people in England. As we know, in eighteen century, people are very feudatiorial, young men and young women need to abide by many rules. But in the comedy “She Stoops to Conquer” , there are two characters. there is a woman called Kate, and there is a men called Marlow. These two characters are very important in this play. Because they break the traditional rules in that time. They use their own way to choose their happiness; these two characters make the play get more interesting and can attack more people to watch it. Because they work with the gender roles, femininity and masculinity. For the character Kate, we know that Kate’s father wanted her to get married to Marlow. She must listen, because that is like a rule in that time. So, for this thing Kate shows her femininity. I find some resources that show this part. I read the “Gold Smith”s Feminist Drama: She Stoops to Conquer, silence and Language.” The text talks about silence and class-roles, feminist discourse about the sociology and anthropology, and the text also uses the character Kate to show this deeper. Though Kate challenges the gender roles, but she also complies to the gender roles, because she listens to her father. In the text, her father told her “I expect the young gentlemen I have chose to be your husband from the town this very day” (). From the sentence, we can know that in that time, people did not have freedom in marriage; daughters needed to listen to their family. So, she did this. She complies to the gender roles,and she is not different from other girls in those days. But she thinks that she is “treated with love” by her parents. So, before she gets married to him, she wants to respect herself. So, she did somethings that was challenging for the gender roles. From the text , I know in eighteen century women are not free to talk to other people, but in this text, the author describes Kate. “Kate’s ability to create a space for talk.” As we know, in this comedy, Kate wears clothes to make herself like a maidservant, because she wants to know Marlow’s real character. So, she talks with him and asks Marlow for more information from his life. Because Kate has a voice “a woman should have a voice in choosing the man who would control her life” (). So, she starts to respect her life in the next time. On the other way, how her parents choose a good husband and a good wife in the eighteen century. They only think about the social class and rich, if they think the family has a high social class, they will choose them. Of course, for Kate’s father, he thinks Marlow’s family is good. So,he chooses Marlow for Kate. Maybe this is a very normal thing in that time, but for Kate, she does no think so. She wants to break the rules and challenge the gender roles. From the text “she must make Marlow understand that the blazons of class are arbitrary, that virtue is a statement of women’s moral, not social, standing.”() Form the sentence that we can know Kate is not a normal woman, she wants to educate Marlow becomes to a good person, because this is a way to respect her own life in the future. “She stoops the conquer”, the character Kate is a special woman in eighteen century. She complies the gender role, she also challenge the gender role. And she is a very smart girl, she can listens to her father and she also can respect and assert her own life. Kate also accepts the traditional femininity and she also respects her own femininity in her heart. For the Character Marlow, as we know in “she stoops to the conquer”, Marlow has two different sides for different people. When Marlow meets some high class women or some ladies, he will gets very shy and to be a real gentleman. In the other side, when he stays in outside