Gender politics and isolation in Kate Chopin's "the awakening" and Tennessee William's "a streetcar named desire"
Vaughn, Sally Rae
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Kate Chopin and Tennessee Williams explore the theme of marginalization and oppression of women by creating women characters who are fighting against the control of a male patriarchy and searching for their own form of freedom. This thesis explores the significant details of the background and influence of the lives of Chopin and Williams. An examination of the male/female relationships of Edna Pontellier in Chopin's novel The Awakening and Blanche DuBois in Williams' drama A Streetcar Named Desire shows their struggle for control and definition in a male patriarchy. Both characters also struggle within themselves to find a compromise between acceptable women's roles that are exhibited in other characters. Both women are forced to escape into ultimate forms of isolation. Edna seeks release in suicide; Blanche retreats into insanity. The final chapter describes how these characters represent universal themes that are still relevant issues for women today.