Themes - Women And Femininity Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Themes - Women And Femininity Deck (7):

Absence of women

Bachelorhood/ friendship / homosexuality.


The little girl, the first female we hear about, is rudely trampled, and although she comes to no great harm, she relies on other people for her defense.

The people who had turned out were the girl's own family; and pretty soon, the doctor, for whom she had been sent put in his appearance. Well, the child was not much the worse, more frightened,


How else are women portrayed as weak?

housemaid broke into hysterical whimpering - all the servants are just as frightened but it is the women that break into 'hysterics'

Maid is an idealist who sees things in one dimension - or as well initially think (but she is still 'smoothed with hypocrisy' - more to women that what it seems like)

Maid faints when she sees the murder, and only regains consciousness after (key structural feature but stevenson could only use a woman to make it believable in society)

In growing fear, the maid almost jeopardizes everyones safety
Blank silence followed, no one protesting; only the maid lifted her voice and now wept loudly.


The maid is an idealist who is portrayed as a one-dimensional character.

A maid servant living alone in a house not far from the river, had gone upstairs to bed about eleven. Although a fog rolled over the city in the small hours, the early part of the night was cloudless, and the lane, which the maid's window overlooked, was brilliantly lit by the full moon. It seems she was romantically given, for she sat down upon her box, which stood immediately under the window, and fell into a dream of musing. Never (she used to say, with streaming tears, when she narrated that experience), never had she felt more at peace with all men or thought more kindly of the world. (4.1)


The maid faints after witnessing a horrible crime. She regains consciousness only once it is too late to apprehend the murderer.

And next moment, with ape-like fury, he was trampling his victim under foot and hailing down a storm of blows, under which the bones were audibly shattered and the body jumped upon the roadway. At the horror of these sights and sounds, the maid fainted.

It was two o'clock when she came to herself and called for the police. The murderer was gone long ago; but there lay his victim in the middle of the lane, incredibly mangled. (4.1)


Although many characters are shocked and scared throughout the novel, it is the female characters who are in "hysterics."

At the sight of Mr. Utterson, the housemaid broke into hysterical whimpering; and the cook, crying out "Bless God! it's Mr. Utterson," ran forward as if to take him in her arms. (8.19)


In giving voice to her fear, the maid jeopardizes everyone’s safety.

Blank silence followed, no one protesting; only the maid lifted her voice and now wept loudly.

"Hold your tongue!" Poole said to her, with a ferocity of accent that testified to his own jangled nerves; and indeed, when the girl had so suddenly raised the note of her lamentation, they had all started and turned towards the inner door with faces of dreadful expectation. (8.22)