Since the beginning of the world, the female gender has faced suppression from the male section of the society. This has reflected in the literature, as well. Many authors, writers and poets, have used hard language to point out the wrong done against the women. The tailored language due to the dictatorial system by the mail dominance has been used in the literature works to give a message for the
Literature, on the other hand, has been the part of the world since its inception. Right from the beginning of the world, literary works have been proving elemental to uproot various social evils from the society. Works of literatures have been based on various different aspects and issues of life. Some of the literary works have focussed on the society. There have been a number of works related to the common society, people problems and social evils. If we talk about the social evils, they have been existed in our society since a long time. Right from the beginning of the world, evils like
Caste discrimination, or colour discrimination, discrimination based on creed, discrimination raised on religion, discrimination based on the race, have been a major setback to the society. Another such biasing is on the basis of one's gender. Gender biasing thus, is the most common practice by most of the people in the world.
Disrespecting the views of females, beating them and killing them and making them suffer by one or the other means has been considered as valid in the primitive society. Similar kind of message has been taken forward at the beginning of the modern society. The women, in many nations of the world, are devoid of schools, they are not allowed to do move out of the homes, a woman is not able to do a job because of the restrictions that are imposed on them.
Literature through the works have always condemned the acts related to the gender biasing and sexual discrimination. Here we are discussing and comparing the works done by the two greatest poets of the world. One of them is Walt Whitman while the other poet is Emily Dickinson. Walt Whitman was a famous poet in the 18th century America and has been considered as one of the best poets in the world, known for raising the issues that were prevalent in the society around him, such as democracy, politics, brutality to slaves, soldiers during the war and gender biasing.
Emily Dickens, on the other hand, who mostly used to write ballads on the topics related to emotions, satire, irony or puns. In addition, she also used to write on the different social issues in the world. Dickon's used to criticising the issues of gender biasing.
Walt Whitman's, "Leaves of Grass" and inclination opposing gender biasing
Now let us consider a literary works of each of these poets that are related to gender biasing. Whitman writes a poem titled as "A woman waits for me", which speaks about the relationship between woman and the men. While, he talks about the transcendental nature of the man. While the title itself depicts the biasing on the basis of gender. As the title says that, "A woman waits for me" where he has clearly specified that the woman is waiting for him, and he would go back to her when he is over with all of his works. The poem further continues about talking about a woman, where is said that a woman has to wait for the man. This is because, in spite of being perfect in aspects, she lacks from one thing, and that is 'sex'. Sex, here has been referred to as a woman's dependency on man. The poet says that the sex is the most important thing for a woman, and if the woman does not find a perfect man for her, she lacks everything in spite of having everything with her. This alone states that without man, woman is incomplete. It is also said that a man is the saviour of the woman, and it is the man whom a woman is dependent on. He is a poet, who writes in an erotic manner and thus says, unless there is a drop of the man's moisture, she is incomplete. Finding the right man for her is a big task for her. He further defines that it is just the sex which gives all kinds of definitions in the world, and sex contains everything such as the meanings, the proofs, the delicacies, the results, the health, the pride, the maternal mystery, and the songs. He says that all the things, in the world, are just because of sex. He further adds to the same by saying that, all the encounters related to love, passion, attraction and delight are as a result of a single thing 'sex'. He also speaks about the nature of the man, who shamefully, asks a woman for sex.
Then the poet talks about this nature of man and woman. He says that a woman always understands her man, and she is not less than a man, in any way. He adds, that a woman has the same skin, a same flesh and similar kinds of strength. The woman also knows all the things such as how to swim, dance, row, ride, wrestle, shoot and do each and every thing that is done by a man. Yet a woman is said to be dependent.
Further in his ballad, he also talks about a woman and appreciates them. He says that it is a woman who makes the ways for a man and he being a man can do anything for his woman.
In the end he expresses, that he wishes to see the shower of love for the entire woman's of the world.
The poem written by Emily Dickson, against gender biasing
Another ballad that we are considering for the comparison is written by Dickon's, who is describing a female and also motivating a female through her poems. She says that a woman needs to understand the values of his own aspirations. How can a woman, suffer pain and live under the miseries impounded on her by the man. She has to understand the importance of her life, her vision, and her dreams, and her life. The poet clarifies that, in this poem, she does not talk about the aspirations of a woman to wear a tennis skirt which is very short or to go out and enjoy the night out. Instead of this, she is talking about a woman's world, where she can build goals, live on dreams and find ways to achieve what she aspires for. The poet is affected by the plight of a woman in 19th century, where a woman has two options, either to marry a male and live life for him, shattering off all her dreams, aims and expectations, or, work as penury, working as a nurse or a job.
This poem is also the outcome of her personal observation, which being a woman, she has faced around him by telling about a woman who completely destructs, her dreams, sims and career for the marriage. Thus, his poem is a satirical view to display the woman's life. She has beautifully described that how a woman has to play off with her emotions, her feelings her values, her aims, her dreams and her imaginations and how she is later, compelled by the society o kill all her dreams, her aims and everything just for serving herself, initially as a wife and later as a mother. These chains or the bounds imposed on a woman are enough to kill all her dreams and desires. The dreams of a woman, thus has been compared with the unmentioned weed. These chains that they are traditional and expects the roles of gender includes an element of gender biasing. The very first line of the poem contains the language that easily depicts that how the status of the woman is lowered. The title itself contains the word rose, and 'dropt' which emphasise the rose that is being dropped. Rose, here has been referred, to as the woman. The poem has sarcastically described a woman's role when she has used the line, " To take the honourable / Of Women and Of Wife", where the poet has specified that how a women on one end is bounded by the strands of the marriage something which she is honoured for while, on the other hand, this s not actually the honour for the lady; instead it is a suffering for her. In the entire poem, the poet spreads the message that she is against the traditional system of marriages, and she opposes the same institution.
In the middle of the poem, the virtue of the women is compared to pearls and the weeds which lie at the bottom of the sea. This becomes even more significant when the next line is read, which tells that the women just lives under their husband and after marriage are not able to erupt out of their silence. The poet compares the males with the sea and the women with the weeds under the sea. This clearly specifies that how deeply the dreams of the women are shattered. The women have to kill their emotional freedom so that they can live a life with the families.
She is against the women's change of duty, where she is asked to lose her personal identity. The women, after being married, seem to lose her intellectuality, her individuality and herself. A woman that has been described in the given poems seems to lose her flexibility.
Comparison using the Helene Cixous approach:
If we compare the two poems using the thoughts by the work by the Helene Cixous, it encourages the writings that are written in support of the feminine gender. The works focus on removing the gender biasing, and she wants to removes all kinds of biasing that is done on the basis of the gender. Even through her book she has expressed a similar thought. In her review on the book, “she rose to her requirements drop", she says that it is a book from which each and every page can be taken out and can be considered important. She even appreciated the design of the Dickson's poetry. She is also thanking about the vision of Dickson that has helped the women to known the problems that they undergo. In her review about the Walt Whitman's book, she says that this book is more about sex, and she finds the noted double standards in the poem. In the theory of Helene Cixous, she has developed the ideas related o feminism such as emphasis, multiplicity, diffuseness and openness. So it is somehow connected to the ways that are expressed in the Leaves of Grass. As "Leaves of Grass", also talks about the women body and women's desire and compares the same with the women eroticism. There has been a mention of Helene's Theory many times in the contents of "Leaves of Grass". Though, both Whitman and Cexious have described the relations between the world; that does not give the priority to the unitary self. In her writing "The Laughs of Medusa", the Cixous writes that women must put herself in the world, as the part of the world history and should not just be limited about the to the satisfaction of the men. Cixous supports the fact that has been described in the works of Dickson’s who says that Women dreams and fantasies are curbed again and again. The world does not let women, to give birth to her own fantasies, dreams and desires.
Similarities between the two poems
The main similarity between the two poems written by Whitman and Dickson, is that both poem somehow talks about the woman. The woman's life is full of miseries. Both the poems talks about the fact that the women has to face several miseries, and they have been curbed by the male society.
Another similarity between both the poems is that in both the poems, women are considered as a material to provide the sexual pleasures.
Both the poems, emphasise on the fact that a woman are considered as a materials of play and the world never considers their dream. Instead, the world always tries to suppress the ideas for the women. Both the poems compiled with the theory of feminism is giving the idea that the women should rise herself, should be a part of the history and should do things that are equivalent to the men.
Differences between the two poems
The main difference between the two poems is the ways by which ballad has been represented. While, in the poem written by Whitman, 'sex' is the medium that is use for the description of the woman, while in the second poem, the poet has directly described the women and the miseries that are being faced by her.
Use of Ballad to describe Women:
A balled may be defined as an idea related to writing that has to be sung. Thus, the presentation of the ballad gas to be in the form of a song. This is much more effective than poem and is more effective for the readers or the listeners. These poems are classified as ballads because they represent the functions of the ballad. This is because; a ballad is defined in order to tell a story in the form of a song. Thus, all the elements of the ballads need to be done in a way that they tell a story. In the poem by Whitman, the story of the women is described. In the Whitman's poem, women are considered to be someone who always, waits for the man and the man goes to her completing all his works. Still, this time the women keep on waiting for her. Thus, the women are incomplete without sex. The story says that, without this, the women can never be complete. Thus, this is a ballad, as it involves a plot. The plot is the story which narrates the plight of the women, where the woman is incomplete without a man. The characters here are the man and woman. The ballad describes that, in the story where there exist a man and a woman, we consider a man much above the woman. It is thus considered that it is the man that has overtook all powers of a woman. Thus, the man has to bear a life where she has no independence. She has always been devoid of the rights that actually belong to her. The woman has bear all the pains over the years silently and has never complained about what she has been through. In the end, the ballad leaves with a message for gender equity, so that no woman should be a slave of a man.
In the second story, the plot is telling about the life of the woman, where the woman has some dreams, aims and expectations but all his dreams are been murdered when the woman is married. After this, she is expected to live a life for his mother and the children and to kill her own desires.
Let us now consider the theory of gender language used in the literRy works of Virginia Woolf, by considering her novel "Orlando". In order to describe her theory she explained that it is not the clothes that wear us, but we wear clothes. Similarly, it is the gender that develops or creates sex. Her poems of Gothic were different to express the apathy of women. In this, the Gothic was a male genre which strived to hurt women and victimise them.
Thus, the,' internalized dictatorial gender language' began to be developed when the women began to write. Due to the differences in the literature by the males and females it was assumed that both these genders have different mindsets. Thus, the language that they used for defining the gender was different.
Both Virginia Woolf and Helen Cixous used to emphasize on the Lacan's Freudian Language
Women, thus, are an element of the society which is equally important and has equal rights in comparison to the males. But, often it is a woman who has to bear the burden of life. Right from the beginning of the civilisation the women are being curbed. The two different ballad, also specifies that the sufferings of a woman. In the modern world, where the people are becoming more and more educated, there should be a reform in their own minds. The women should be given more respect. The literature also expresses the same. Thus, there is a need for a change, change in the thinking of the people. Change in the mindset that women are just to support the males and changes in the behaviour of the male species of the world. The literature tries to specify the same fact, that, the woman should come above their plight and should live life for themselves, a life where their dreams are alive, a life where they are given an equal respect as it is given to the male societies, a life where the world sees the woman in the same platform as it sees the men. If we are able to reform, our thinking, our mindset, we are able to reform this primitive thought which needs a transformation.