JaneJane is the daughter of widow Ealing. Florence meets Jane and Ealing while she takes shelters in their cottage when she is out for search of Blacksmith.
Jane has a problem with her eyes because of which the villager accuses her of bad evil. Widow Ealing even cuts her daughter’s leg to prove she has red blood and is not a demon but a normal child. Even the villagers accuse to Florence of devil but she is rescued by the Elaning showing her the way towards towards Blacksmith’s village.
The villager’s perception upon Jane and Florence is the long rooted belief based on patriarchy. Minor charactersThe minor characters of the novel, Bess is a slave working in the plantation of D’ Ortegas in Maryland who was gang raped when she appeared on the plantation. Lyndia and Judith are prostitutes who choose to go to America rather than sentenced to prison. Similarly Anne is being sent to another place for disgracing her familyD OrtegaD Ortega owns an enormous plantation and many slaves. He generally mistreats his slaves.
He ordered his fellows to gang rape Floren’s mother. As a result of it Florence and her Brother was born. When he suffers a series of bad business, he could not pay to Jacob and decides to give Florence to settle the debt. His nature is brutally cruel and dominance to the slaves.
He subjugated the women slaves and orders his fellows to pacify the sexual pleasure from those bonded slaves.Jacob VaarkJacob Vaark despises the slave trade but indirectly involves in it. He has many slaves in his house and adds Florence as a new slave to settle the business deal with D Ortga. He keeps dominance in the household activities and is often out of the house for the business purposes.
In some extent all the four women in Jacob farm are enslaved and deprived of their basic freedoms. Lina Sorrow Rebeeka and Florens do possess some sort of restriction. They cannot choose their fate and social status. They are under the control of the social norms and values.
Just like lina says, “We never shape the world she says. The world shapes us.” (p. 66). When Jacob Vaark is with D’Ortega’s, he remembers his wife, Rebekka and compares her qualities with D’Ortega’s wife. Rebekka is submissive, obedient and has feminine qualities.
Jacob’s wife is literate but not proud, obedient but not groveling, independent but nurturing. She would never raise voice in anger and has cheerful as a bluebird. She is unchurched, humble and an ideal woman. She is an ideal mate hard working and caring (23-24).
Throughout the novel Morrison portrays the various forms of violence that women suffer at the hands of the men in the late seventeenth century. The women characters suffer inhuman and harsh sexual violence, which are passed over the male dominated society as in the form of culture and norms. The then contemporary societies institutionalize and legalized domestic violence against women. The novel portrays a rampant violence against the women is the late 17th century where the women were taken the property by the men in the form of slaves, indentured servant and wives.
Enslaved women were generally the victims of violence rape torture in the hands of their master. They level of violence was extreme because of the low status of women in institutionalized patriarchal society. The black women suffered much in the hands of white masters. However, even the white women also suffered the level of violence. For example Rebbica was married to Jacob by her father in exchange for financial compensation.The women in her novel are exploited, abandoned, sexually abused and emotionally harassed.
Morrison has also introduced the oppression and enslavement of white women. When Florence is brought to America for slavery, she meets the white women in her travelling who were supposed to be brought for prostitutions. Women violence is the widespread plague of a society. The slave faced the sexual hardship and the pathetic condition. Rape, sexual abuse, exploitation of slave women was intentionally common, and the victims could get no justice to experience during the contemporary period.
The slaves were sexually abused for the economic benefits of the masters, with the intention of domination and even as a form of penalty. The men hold the supreme power and authority; make and control all the decisions in family and society. They are the center of all the activities and concern themselves as strength rational ethical and competent.
The patriarchy suppresses the authority and ability to control property. Men value themselves above the women and even control within the domestic activities. There is lack of joint participation and decision making in family because men value their work more important than women’s work and find themselves at the center of every social and cultural event. ( yes)The patriarchal societies view women as sexual objects, or sexual playmates. Women are taken as the object to fulfill their sexual desires limiting them to be within household chores. The wife’s primary role is as a housewife.
Ruth (1990) describes these responsibilities:Care of the inhabitants does not end with children, however, for a wife is also expected to care for her husband in much the same way as she cares for their offspring. She is to feed him, cook his favorite dishes, buy and maintain his clothes, arrange his home to suit him, pack his suitcase when he goes on a 23 trip, arrange entertainment for him on Saturday night, entertain his business friends, arrange doctor’s appointments for him (even against his will), listen to him, and support and “understand” him. (p.
212)Her responsibility is to satisfy the children’s needs, the husband’s needs and maintain the household. The society has the conceived the set practices and beliefs for women as to take the care of the household chores,Johnson (1997) arguesNo woman is immune, for example, to the cultural devaluing of women’s bodies as sexual objects to be exploited in public and private life, or the ongoing threat of sexual and domestic violence. To a rapist, the most powerful woman in the land is first and foremost a woman and this more than anything else culturally marks her as potential victim. (p. 19) Patriarchy has created a discourse that women are primarily sexual objects for the use or abuse by men, and rape is about enacting power and domination. Page 27Simone de Beauvoir says, “They are women in virtue of their anatomy and physiology.
Throughout history they have always been subordinated to men . . . They have gained only what men have been willing to grant; they have taken nothing, they have only received (1 8- 19).
Neumann’s observation on women’s mental illness and fidelity is apt here: Even today women’s mental illnesses can be determined by attitudes of a traditionally faithful and constrictive patriarchal psychology. . . . Fidelity is a central problem especially in the psychology of woman, for all too often fidelity is not the index of a vital relationship to her partner but rather is only the expression of psychic lethargy and hampers the developmentally necessary progression to a new phase of life. (49)Andrea Dwrokin in her book Women Hating mentions the distinctive character of women subjugation.
Women are oppressed and become the victims regardless of their class or race and even their significant wealth does not signify their power. In spite of their presence in all the territory and all the parts they are unable to take control of any of this appreciable territory. Women are compelled to live and sleep with those who oppress them, and have their children too. She furthermore says that- “We are tangled; hopelessly it seems, in the gut of the machinery and way of life which is ruinous to us”. (23) Maria Mies, in her book, Patriarchy and Accumulation on a World Scale defines feminists as those who dare to break the conspiracy of silence about the oppressive, unequal man woman relationship and who want to change it.
( 6) and the terms subordinate and oppression refer to specify women’s position in a hierarchically structured system and the method of keeping them. She prefer to use the word oppressive rather than exploitation in men women relationship because She says the word exploitation refers to only economic exploitation to wage workers. As women are economically and socially exploited resulting to the grievances beyond those of wage workers in men women relationship, the term exploitation is avoidable.
(36) Millet puts his opinion that Violence and coercion seemed to be the main mechanisms by which the unequal power relation in the area of body politics was maintained. Women discovered more and more that their own bodies had been alienated from them and had been turned into objects for others, had become ‘occupied territory’. Many began to understand that male dominance, or patriarchy as it then began to be called, had its origin not in the realm of public politics only but in men’s control over women’s bodies, particularly their sexuality and their generative capacities). (qtd.
in patriarchy and accumulation on a world scale 25).222222222222222Martha Browne was born in Kentucky in 1808 and her autobiography, Autobiography of a Female Slave was published in 1857. On the death of her master Harriet was sold and separated from her mother. She recounted the day of her sale. ‘A tall, hard-looking man came up to me, very roughly seized my arm, bade me open my mouth; examined my teeth; felt of my limbs; made me run a few yards; ordered me to jump; and, being well satisfied with my activity, said to Master Edward, “I will take her.” Martha recorded how devastated her mother was.
“Sshe gave full vent to her feelings in a long, loud, piteous wail. Oh, God! that cry of grief, that knell of a breaking heart, rang in my ears for many long and painful days. ……….Ah, when I now think of my poor mother’s form, as it swayed like a willow in the tempest of grief; when I remember her bitter cries, and see her arms thrown frantically toward me, and hear her earnest – oh, how earnest -prayer for death or madness’. It was accounts like that that fuelled the anti slavery movement in the USA.
However other accounts were too horrific and were threatened with censorship.