Professor Guerrero's Blog

mguerrero@gmail.com

Co-author of East of Tiffany's, 13 short stories of a Latino immigrant's success in USA; a journey from West Harlem to Sutton Place and Park Avenue. Check out the reviews in Amazon.com and in Barnes and Noble.

on KINDLE on NOOK

My best seller as of now is

Titanes de la Filosofia

Professor Guerrero's Blog: The Wife of Bath: Feminism, Womanism, or Neofeminism? Professor Guerrero's Blog: Book Reviews, Human Interest Articles, Accounting Lessons, and Writing Techniques

Book Reviews  

Books

Sentence Openers Book: FREE Lessons

Jane Austen  

Boethius: Consolation of Philosophy

How to Become a Writer  

Personal Finance  

Self Help, Wealth, & Learning

Greeks Romans Trojans  

Feminism  

Great Gatsby: Is Nick Gay?

All my books are now in NOOK

Ideas About the Novel is a prophetic book that all writers must own.

Ideas About the Novel by Ortega y Gasset - my translation $0.99


Next to Cervantes, Benito Perez Galdos is the most beloved Spanish writer of all times.

Torquemada at the Stake by Perez Galdos- my translation $0.99

Lazarillo of Tormes - my translation $0.99
Read it in contemporary English -- No Thous, Thees, or King James' Bible language. Transliterated into easy language for enjoyable reading pleasure. Because The Lazarillo of Tormes pointed a new direction, European and American literature benefited with titles that today are considered classics: Cervantes’ Rinconete and Cortadillo; Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders, Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones and Joseph Andrews; Tobias Smollett’s Roderick Random, and Peregrine Pickle; Voltaire’s Candide; Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield. And many others to include American works ranging from Mark Twain to Saul Bellow.

Dehumanization of Art by Ortega y Gasset - my translation $0.99
The Dehumanization of Art— is now a constant in music, literature, aesthetics, and philosophy, having come to mean that in post-modern times human-shaped mimesis (representation of the human) is irrelevant to art. According to Ortega, the arts don't have to tell a human story; art should deal with its own forms—and not with the human form.

Sentence Openers
How writers open their sentences makes prose agile, interesting, and athletic. This e-book teaches how to break the pattern Subject-verb-object--and discard openings that begin with nouns, articles, and pronouns.

East of Tiffany's - bestseller $5
With the city as its backdrop "East of Tiffany's" is filled with earnest tales of love, loss, faith, success and morality. While business terminology is interwoven throughout these short stories, it's not business lessons that I take away with me, but life lessons. The circumstances and the characters' profound humanity are relatable despite their zip code . "Luke, Postmodern Man" offers a new vista into faith, suffering, and love of neighbor. Way after you read this book you'll find yourself thinking about the various characters throughout the series of stories and will find solace in their unwavering faith. The narrators' ability to reflect on their hardships with such serenity is inspiring.



My writing was as flat as a sidewalk. And then I downloaded ...

Mary Duffy's Toolbox for Writers
After I purchased Mary's e-book I started to get 'A's in my essays and term papers! Every page is filled with great writing tips, training lessons, and wonderful useful writing skills! Not only do I write essays for college, but also short stories!
--IVONNIE Indrawan
College student
Sentence Openers on KINDLE

Sentence Openers on NOOK













All my books are now in KINDLE


Ideas About the Novel by Ortega y Gasset - my translation $0.99
Torquemada at the Stake by Perez Galdos- my translation $0.99
Lazarillo of Tormes - my translation $0.99
Dehumanization of Art by Ortega y Gasset - my translation $0.99
Sentence Openers
East of Tiffany's - bestseller $5


The most beloved short story from Spanish literature
All my books are in NOOK $0.99 or in Amazon KINDLE $0.99








All my books are now in NOOK

Ideas About the Novel is a prophetic book that all writers must own.
Ideas About the Novel by Ortega y Gasset - my translation $0.99

Next to Cervantes, Benito Perez Galdos is the most beloved Spanish writer of all times.

Torquemada at the Stake by Perez Galdos- my translation $0.99

Lazarillo of Tormes - my translation $0.99
Read it in contemporary English -- No Thous, Thees, or King James' Bible language.

Dehumanization of Art by Ortega y Gasset - my translation $0.99
The Dehumanization of Art— is now a constant in music, literature, aesthetics, and philosophy, having come to mean that in post-modern times human-shaped mimesis (representation of the human) is irrelevant to art.

Sentence Openers
How writers open their sentences makes prose agile, interesting, and athletic.

East of Tiffany's - bestseller $5
With the city as its backdrop "East of Tiffany's" is filled with earnest tales of love, loss, faith, success and morality.



My writing was as flat as a sidewalk. And then I downloaded ...

Mary Duffy's Toolbox for Writers
After I purchased Mary's e-book I started to get 'A's in my essays and term papers!
--Ivonnie Indrawan
College student
Sentence Openers on KINDLE

Sentence Openers on NOOK





Available in KINDLE $0.99


Available in KINDLE $0.99

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Wife of Bath: Feminism, Womanism, or Neofeminism?

Every time I read Chaucer’s “The Wife of Bath,” (prologue and tale), I come with a different conclusion as to what the good wife did actually want or aspire to in life. I won’t comment on what the author meant to convey; I will leave this to the end. In this last reading I want to comment on Dame Alice’s motivation in telling us her tale.

Within a few verses the Wife tells us that her story will be about her personal experiences and marriages—all five of them:
That marriage is a misery and a woe;
For let me say, if I may make so bold,
My lords, since I was but twelve years old,
Thanks be to God Eternal evermore,
Five husbands have I had the church door;

As I read the poem-story, nothing to me is more delightful than to visualize the woman’s visage:
Yes, I’m gap-toothed; it suits me well I feel,
It is the print of Venus and seal,
So help me God I was a lusty one
Fair, young, and well-to-do, and full of fun!

Isn’t this the picture of a lively character? Not only is she young, fair, rich, full of fun, but also well-to-do. And if we add an appropriate dress we can complete the picture: “And always wore my gayest scarlet dress.”

Under no circumstance should we interpret Dame Alice as an early feminist as we understand the term today: someone who advocates the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes. Of course the feminist movement has spawned many other more radical stances, but the core belief will suffice: feminists want equality.
Yet, throughout the prologue we see that the Wife doesn’t really want equality but woman’s supremacy. Today she could be called sexist.

Likewise, in the actual tale, the queen sends the offending knight in a quest to find the answer to the questions of the ages: “What is the thing that women most desire?” To save his life, the knight must return with the right answer in a twelvemonth and a day’s time. And the correct answer he submits turns out to be that what women most desire is the supremacy of woman over man:
‘A woman wants the self-same sovereignty
Over her husband as over her lover,
And master him; he must not be above her …’

When novelist Alice Walker coined the term ‘Womanist prose’ she meant to highlight the plight of the African American woman, whose condition was different from the constraints suffered by white feminists. Womanism has of late come to mean a benign sisterhood free from ill will to men.

But the Wife of Bath if full of ill will towards her five husbands. Womanism isn’t applicable here, for not only is she jealous, but she is also vindictive and cruel:
I told you how it filled my heart with spite
To see another woman his delight,

By God on earth I was his purgatory.

How many were the ways I tortured him,
And when she buries her fourth husband, at the very same funeral, she flirts with Johnny —the handsome former Oxford student— and wins him to become her fifth husband. And just like she did with the previous husbands, she strips them of their manhood, house, land, and wealth.

Unsatisfied, ribald, and lascivious, Dame Alice seeks pleasure in and outside marriage. In this context we can say that the neofeminist paradigm fits her well: “love me for my body—not my mind.” This man-hungry model fits her well since throughout her narrative she alludes to her strong sexual proclivities. To short circuit censorship and to avoid vulgar language, the Wife refers to sex in a variety of ways: “Silly instrument,” “In wifehood I will use my instrument,” “My husband, he shall have it eve and morrow,” “And was unable to deny in truth, My chamber of Venus to a likely youth,” and my favorite stanza:
‘What ails you, man, to grumble so and groan?
Just that you want my what-not all your own?
Why, take it all, man, take it every bit!
St. Peter, what a love you have for it!
For if I were to sell my belle chose,
I could go walking fresher than a rose;

Because in the end we can see that she is half deaf (from a beating), that she is a battered wife, and who despite the violence inflicted to her by her five husbands she only makes fun of her situation in life, one can assume that she suffers from low self-esteem.

To all this, what was Chaucer’s agenda? On first impression it seems that Chaucer is actually using the character of a picturesque woman to prove that women can be lethal to men. On a deeper level one can say that by exposing the husband’s abusive behavior, which in those years was common, he could bring about social change.
The writing techniques I use in this article are all explained in Mary Duffy's writing manual--an indispensable guide:

Sentence Openers


Augustine, City of God
Austen J, Pride and Prejudice
Austen J, "Marriage Proposals and Me"
Austen J, Emma
Borges, The Aleph
C. Bronte, Jane Eyre
Burroughs E,Tarzan
Cervantes, Don Quijote
Chaucer, Wife of Bath
Coelho P,The Alchemist
Coyle H, They Are Soldiers
Dante, New Life
Dickens C, David Copperfield
Dostoevsky, Crime&Punishment
ConanDoyle,Hound of Baskervilles
Dubner S, Superfreakonomics

DuMaurier D, Rebecca
Ellis B. E. American Psycho
Fitzgerald S, Great Gatsby
Flaubert G, Madame Bovary
Fleming I,Doctor No
Freud S, Leonardo Da Vinci
Friedan B, Feminine Mystique
GarciaMarquez, Of Love & OtherDemons
GarciaMarquez,OneHundredYrs
Guerrero M,ThePoison Pill

Grass G, The Tin Drum
Harris T, Hannibal Rising
Heidegger M,House of Being
Ishiguro K, Remains of The Day
Johnson S,Rasselas
Kafka,Metamorphosis
Kosinski J, The Painted Bird
Lee H,To Kill a Mockingbird
McBain Ed,Gutter and Grave
Murakami H,Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
Nabokov V, Lolita
Meyer, S, Twilight
Ortega,Dehumanization of Art
Poe E A, Gordon Pym
Prose F, Reading Like a Writer
Rushdie S,Midnight Children
Sabatini R, Scaramouche
Spark M, Prime of Miss Brodie

Stendhal, Red and Black
Sterne L,Tristram Shandy
Stevenson R, Dr.Jekyll & Mr.Hyde
Stoker B, Dracula
Thackeray W,History of Pendennis
Tolstoy L, Anna Karenina
Trollope A, Autobiography
Unamuno M, Tragic Sense of Life
Voltaire, Candide
Webb J, Fields of Fire
Wharton E, The House of Mirth
Woolf V, To The Lighhouse


The secrets of 'no-doze' prose:
Mary Duffy's Sentence Openers



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Professor Guerrero's Blog

Co-author of East of Tiffany's, 13 short stories that will warm your heart - See 101 reviews in Amazon.com and 37 in Barnes and Noble.

on KINDLE on NOOK

BROWSE: MORE THAN 560 ARTICLES

Book Reviews   Accounting 1   How to Become a Writer   Personal Finance   Self Help, Wealth, & Learning

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